Philosophy 220: Pro-seminar

General Information

Meetings are held Friday, 10-12.30, in Gerard 119.

The instructor is Richard Heck.

Please note that most of the published material is available only to enrolled students. Links to publicly accessible copies are included where possible.

Many of the readings are available in two formats: PDF and DjVu. To view the PDFs, you will of course need a PDF reader. For the DjVu files, you will need a DjVu reader. Browser plugins for Windows and Mac OSX are available from Celartem; Linux users can likely just install the djviewlibre package using their distro's package management system. A list of other DjVu resources is maintained at

Why DjVu? Because DjVu is a file format specifically designed for scanned text: The DjVu encoder produces files that are typically much smaller than the corresponding PDFs. DjVu's can be one-tenth the size of the corresponding PDFs, in some cases.

Another advantage to the DJVUs, at least as I've made them, is that they are two-to-a-page, which saves paper. But note: When printing these files, make sure you print them in the correct mode: 'landscape' or 'portrait'. In particular, two-to-a-page scanned pages should be printed in landscape mode, so that they come out the way they were photocopied. You will get very small text and a lot of blank paper if you print them portrait.


28 January

Introductory Meeting

4 February

Bertrand Russell, "Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description", in Logical and Philosophical Papers, vol. 6, pp. 148-161 (DJVU) Presenter: Megan
Bertrand Russell, "On Denoting", Mind 14 (1905), 479-93 (DJVU, JSTOR) Presenter: Brett

11 February

Gottlob Frege, "On Sense and Reference", in Collected Papers (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984), pp. 157-77 (DJVU, JSTOR) Presenter: Amanda
Gottlob Frege, "The Thought", in Collected Papers, pp. 351-72 (DJVU, JSTOR) Presenter: Steve

18 February

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1922) (PDF)
¶¶1-4.53, Presenter: Thomas
¶¶5-7, Presenter: Steve

25 February

No Class

4 March

A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic, Chs. 1-4 Presenter: Megan
Rudolph Carnap, "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology", in Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (1950), pp. 20-40. Reprinted in the Supplement to Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic, 2d edition (University of Chicago Press, 1956), pp. 205-21. (PDF) Presenter: Brett

11 March

W. V. O. Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", Philosophical Review 60 (1951), 20-43 (DJVU, JSTOR) Presenter: Thomas
Noam Chomsky, "Quine’s Empirical Assumptions", Synthese 19 (1968-9), 53-68 (DJVU, Springer) Presenter: Amanda

18 March

J. L. Austin, "Truth", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 51 (1950-51), pp. 111-28 (DJVU) Presenter: Brett
P. F. Strawson, "Truth" (DJVU), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 51 (1950-51), pp. 129-56 Presenter: Steve

25 March

Michael Dummett, "Truth", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59 (1958-59), pp. 141-62. (DJVU, JSTOR) Presenter: Thomas
Donald Davidson, "Theories of Meaning and Learnable Languages", in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), pp. 3-15 (DJVU) Presenter: Megan

1 April

No Class: Spring Break

8 April

W.V.O. Quine, "Three Grades of Modal Involvement", in The Ways of Paradox (New York: Random House, 1966), pp. 156-74 (DjVu)Presenter: Amanda
Ruth Barcan Marcus, "Modalities and Intensional Languages", Synthese 13 (1961), 303-22 (DjVu, Springer) Presenter: Brett

15 April

Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture 1 Presenter: Megan
Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture 2 Presenter: Steve

22 April

Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture 3 Presenter: Amanda
Hilary Putnam, "The Meaning of 'Meaning'", Mind, Language, and Reality: Philosophical Papers, vol. 2, pp. 215-71; you need only read up to p. 235 (DJVU) Presenter: Thomas

29 April

Gottlob Frege, Foundations of Arithmetic, §§1-28 Presenter: Amanda
Gottlob Frege, Foundations of Arithmetic, §§29-54 Presenter: Steve

6 May

Gottlob Frege, Foundations of Arithmetic, §§55-69 Presenter: Brett
Gottlob Frege, Foundations of Arithmetic, §§70-83 Presenter: Richard