Speech acts are one of the most important topics in the philosophy of language. Besides offering a firm basis to a treatment of human communication, speech act theory plays a crucial role in understanding how social reality is created and maintained. In this course, after introducing the basic concepts of the area, the two main theoretical approaches to speech acts (respectively dubbed the “conventionalist” and the “intentionalist” approach) will be presented and compared. Finally, a possible synthesis of the two approaches will be outlined.
The course will alternate ex-cathedra lessons introducing the different topics and classroom discussions on assigned readings. During the introductory lessons, a reasonable amount of readings will be assigned. At the beginning of discussion sessions, the participants will be asked to submit, in written form, their personal questions and/or comments on the assigned readings. Some of the questions and/or comments will then be selected as topics of discussion.
90% of the final grade will be based on a 2000-3000 words essay on one of the topics treated in the course (to be agreed with the lecturer). The remaining 10% will be based on the student’s participation in the classroom discussions.
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