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How does what you say come to mean something? Does what you say inherently represent what you, the speaker, think it means, whatever that might be, or does what you say carry its own meaning, separate from your intentions in saying it? This free course, Language and thought: Introducing representation, introduces you to the key questions about how meaning is conveyed in language.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- discuss basic philosophical questions concerning language and thought
- understand problems concerning language and thought and discuss them in a philosophical way.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introducing representation
- 2 Is the speaker's mind the source of an utterance's meaning?
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 The source of an utterance's meaning: the words used or the speaker's mind?
- 2.3 Grice on natural and non-natural meaning
- 2.4 The meaning of expressions versus the meaning of individual utterances
- 2.5 Why intentions?
- 2.6 Which intentions?
- 2.7 Expression meaning as defined by Grice
- 2.8 The Gricean Programme
- 2.9 How successful is Grice's theory of the meaning of utterances?
- 2.10 Section summary
- 2.11 Further reading
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Language and thought: Introducing representation
This course introduces key questions about language and thought, such as how can language, which is public and accessible, be used to convey thoughts, which seem hidden from view.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Philosophy courses or view the range of currently available OU Philosophy courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 15th January 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 15th January 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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