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PHIL 342 Representation and Reality: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein (1)

Introduction to the philosophical approach evolved by Frege, Russell, and the early Wittgenstein for treating questions about the nature of representation and its relation to reality. The approach is now basic in philosophy and has proved influential, sometimes crucially so, across the arts, sciences, and other humanities. A sample of motivating questions: What, if anything, must representations (thoughts, beliefs, sentences, pictures) have in common with what they represent? What, if anything, must representations have in common with other representations? What, if anything, do the various structural features of a representation stand for? For that matter, what counts as structure, what as content? Special attention to internal tensions in the various philosophical theories we discuss and their implications for contemporary thought.

  • Prerequisite: PHIL 140, or PHIL 230 or PHIL 231, or consent of instructor.
  • Offering: Every third year
  • Instructor: Welty