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David Sosa, Chair 2210 Speedway, WAG 316, Stop C3500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4857

Lawrence R. Buchanan

Assistant Professor PhD, New York University

Contact

Biography

Professor Buchanan specializes in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. He also works in philosophical logic, epistemology, and the foundations of cognitive science. His dissertation, Content, Context, and Communicative Intentions, argues that context-sensitive constructions undermine the standard proposition-based theory of linguistic communication. He has published "Are Truth and Reference Quasi-Disquotational?" (Philosophical Studies , 2003) and "Has the Problem of Incompleteness Rested on a Mistake?" (Mind, 2005, with Gary Ostertag).

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

42805 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm SZB 330
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This course is an introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: • What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and mere true belief? • What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of others)? • Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge? • Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 375M • Action And Agency

43105 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 210
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This course will be an advanced seminar on philosophical issues concerning the nature of human action and agency.  Special attention will be given to questions concerning the role of our intentions, beliefs, and desires in the production and explanation of intentional action.  The required readings for the course will include selections by Elizabeth Anscombe, Maria Alvarez, Myles Brand, Michael Bratman, Donald Davidson, Berent Enc, Carl Ginet, Gilbert Harman, Richard Holton, Jennifer Hornsby, Jacob Ross, Kieran Setiya, and David Velleman, among others. Registered students will be required to write two research papers (roughly 10-12 pages each) for the course.  Each of these papers will be worth 45% of the final grade; the remaining 10% determined by class attendance and participation. 

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

43175-43185 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 203
show description

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language

43385 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 308
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

42890 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 800am-930am WAG 308
show description

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language-Phl Maj

43115 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 308
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language-Phl Maj

42755 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SZB 240
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 394K • Philosophy Of Language

42897 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 1230pm-330pm WAG 312
(also listed as LIN 394K )
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Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description:

This course will be a high level introduction to foundational issues in pragmatics and the philosophy of language.  Topics to be discussed will include, but are not limited to the following: assertion, conversational implicature, presupposition, mutual knowledge, speaker meaning/reference, speech act theory, and the nature, and scope, of context-dependency.  One of the principal aims of the course will be to illustrate how reflecting on work in action theory and epistemology helps to further our philosophical understanding of these topics (and others) in the philosophy of language.

Grading:

One term paper paper (16-20 pages) (100% of the grade of the term), and a required in-class presentation.

Readings:

Readings will include work Kent Bach and Robert Harnish, Wayne Davis, Paul Grice, David Lewis, Stephen Schiffer, Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, Robert Stalnaker, and numerous other philosophers of language and linguists.  From the action theory literature, we will look at work by Michael Bratman, Richard Holton, David Velleman, and others.

 

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

42435 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 800am-930am GAR 2.128
show description

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language-Phl Maj

42630 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 112
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

42915 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 214
show description

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language-Phl Maj

43065 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GAR 0.132
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language-Phl Maj

42507 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 302
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 384F • First-Year Seminar

42575 • Fall 2010
Meets T 630pm-930pm WAG 312
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Restricted to First-Year Philosophy Graduate Students.

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor required.

Course Description:

This course will be a research seminar on foundational issues concerning mental and linguistic representation. Issues to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • What is the explanatory and predictive role of representational contents in folk psychology? 
  • What must the contents of our thoughts, and speech acts, be like if they are to play these roles? 
  • More generally, how is representation so much as possible? What are the facts in virtue of which a thing – be it a neurophysiological state of a creature, or a bit of language – come to have representational properties in the first place?  
  • What is the relation between mental and linguistic content?  Can the latter be accounted for in terms of the former? 

 Many of these issues were intensely debated by the leading philosophers in the 1970s and 80s, including Dennett, Stalnaker, Lewis, Field, Schiffer, Stich, Fodor and Kripke(nstein). The debate appeared to have died down for some time in the 90s, not on account of any solutions having been agreed upon, but more likely on account of a better appreciation of how daunting the problems were. Many, if not most, philosophers of mind and language subsequently turned their attention to ostensibly more tractable areas of research, such as empirically informed cognitive science and linguistics. However, in recent years, a small number of young philosophers have published several important papers on the issues we are interested in. In our seminar we will look at these recent contributions, as well as some of our own work in progress on these topics.  

Grading Policy:

90% term paper; 5% one in-class oral presentation; 5% preparation for and participation during class meetings.

Texts:

Readings: all readings will be made available electronically. Representative authors will include Stalnaker, Field, Schiffer, Fodor, Lewis, Davidson, Dennett and Kripke.

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language

43420 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A209A
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

42200-42210 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 200pm-300pm WEL 2.312
show description

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language

42435 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm WAG 308
show description

The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

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