28002 - Philosophy of Language (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student achieves an average competence in the philosophy of contemporary language, with the in-depth study of a specific topic and the guided reading of a classic.

Course contents

Please find the updated teaching schedule in the course syllabus [https://virtuale.unibo.it/mod/resource/view.php?id=1492544] .

Normativity: language and nature

The course will deal with the nature of normativity and normative language.

The course is divided into two modules:

Module 1) The different conceptions of normativity and normative language.

The debate on normativity will be introduced from the different proposals of meta-ethics of normative language in the moral field.

Module 2) Varieties and nature of normativity

The different dimensions of normativity (criterial, dentic, axiological, finalistic) and the problems posed by the philosophical analysis of normative concepts will be discussed.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


Module 1:

Chrisman, Matthew (2017). What is This Thing Called Metaethics?. Routledge.

Module 2:

Eklund, Matti (2017). Choosing Normative Concepts. Oxford University Press.

Ferrari, Filippo (2021). Truth and Norms: Normative Alethic Pluralism and Evaluative Disagreements. Lexington Books.

NOTE: Other works (mainly articles of secondary literature) may be covered during the course, which will not be the subject of the oral examination but may be of use to the attending student in writing the examination paper.

Teaching methods


Each module will be divided in two sets of activities:

1) 8-10 lectures presenting the topics covered by the reading materials

2) 5-7 seminars where groups of students will present some chapters of the assigned books in biliography or some article from the secondary literature on the relevant topics;


During lectures I will employ the peer instruction method to engage directly with the group classo.

During seminas we will employ community of inquiry method (if the class is small).

Assessment methods

Assessment during the course:

  • collective reading of texts during the course via the social reading platform perusall.com
  • comprehension questions using the peer instruction method during class.

NOTE: these tests will not be averaged but will be useful for attending students to consolidate the learning of the course topics.

Assessment during exam:

  • essay writing
  • oral test.

The length of the essay varies depending on whether you are attending or not.

ATTENDING STUDENTS short essay: at least 1500 words and no more than 3000 words (everything included: first name, surname, course of study, title, bibliography).

NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS long essay: at least 3000 words and no more than 4000 words (all inclusive: first name, last name, freshman, course of study, title, bibliography).

Attendance or non-attendance will be determined on the basis of the continuity with which the students will participate in the tests during the course: an attending student must complete at least 70% of the assignments on perusall (the web address will be given at the beginning of the course).


I will use these verification criteria to determine the following evaluation thresholds:

30 and praise excellent proof, both in knowledge and in the critical and expressive articulation.

30 excellent test, complete knowledge, well articulated and correctly expressed, with some critical ideas.

27-29 good test, comprehensive and satisfactory knowledge, substantially correct expression.

24-26 discrete test, knowledge present in the substantial points, but not exhaustive and not always correctly articulated.

21-23 sufficient proof, knowledge present in a sometimes superficial way, but the general thread is understood. Short and often inappropriate and incomplete expression and articulation.

18-21 superficial knowledge, the common thread is not understood with continuity. The expression and the articulation of the discourse also have significant gaps.

<18 insufficient evidence, absent or very incomplete knowledge, lack of orientation in the discipline, defective and inappropriate expression. Examination not passed.


People with disabilities and DSA

Persons with disabilities or specific learning disorders are entitled to special adaptations in relation to their condition, subject to assessment by the University Service for Students with Disabilities and DSA. Please do not contact the lecturer, but contact the Service for an appointment. The Service will determine what adjustments are appropriate. Further information can be found at site.unibo.it/studenti-con-disabililita-e-dsa/it/per-studenti.

Teaching tools

Elearning, slide and handouts, Wooclap and Perusall (http://persuall.com) software for peer instruction.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Sebastiano Moruzzi