Issues in Social Philosophy of Language

This course will explore a variety of philosophical issues about language use in the social world. What makes an utterance a lie? Is lying morally worse than other forms of verbal deception? Most of what we believe we learn from others, but how do we decide when to believe what other people say? Might a person's social identity affect how credible they are judged to be? Should it? Can we really consent to medical procedures if we do not have the relevant medical expertise to understand our options? What makes an utterance a threat? If speaking indirectly is more polite, might members of marginalized groups be expected to speak indirectly, and as a result, might that further disadvantage them socially, legally, or communicatively? These are just some of the questions we will explore.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: At least two courses in Philosophy.

Instructor: McGowan

Distribution Requirements: EC or REP - Epistemology and Cognition or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered