UWG Philosophy Program


PHIL 4150


Fall Semester 2012

TR 9:30-10:50am

Prerequisites: PHIL 2010 or permission of instructor

Classroom: Pafford 308

Web Site: http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/analytic

Email: rlane@westga.edu *

Instructor: Dr. Robert Lane

Office: TLC 2247

Office Hours:

T: 8:30-9:15am; 11am-12:15pm; 2-4pm

W: 9:15-9:55am; 1-3pm

R: 8:30-9:15am; 11am-12:15pm; 2-3:30pm

and by appointment

My office telephone: (678) 839-4745
English/Philosophy telephone: (678) 839-4848


*All email communication must be conducted from your official UWG email account. Students are obligated to check their UWG email accounts on a regular basis and to ensure that their mailboxes do not become full.


UWG Severe Weather Policy: http://www.westga.edu/police/index_2277.php


This is a Discipline Specific Writing (DSW) course, fulfilling one of two DSW requirements for the College of Arts and Humanities. All DSW courses require that students write a minimum of 4,000 words across multiple assignments, not including revisions. There will be multiple written assignments that will be evaluated for subject matter, grammar, punctuation, spelling, thoroughness, and organization, among other things.



DESCRIPTION: This course is an historical overview of analytic philosophy, the most widespread and influential movement among Anglo-American philosophers during the 20th century. We will consider how the most important members of this tradition, including Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and W. V. O. Quine, attempted to answer questions within metaphysics, epistemology, meta-ethics, and the philosophy of language.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the semester, each student will be able to identify, describe, ask questions concerning, and critically discuss (in both oral and written communications) the following:

·         the various meanings of the phrase “analytic philosophy” and criticisms of analytic philosophy originating in the Continental tradition

·         Frege’s distinction between sense and reference and the problems that distinction was intended to solve

·         Russell’s theory of descriptions and how he believed it solved a number of philosophical puzzles

·         Moore’s account of “the Naturalistic Fallacy” and his view of goodness as a non-natural property

·         Wittgenstein’s earlier and later views on language

·         the approaches to metaphysics and ontology taken by the Logical Positivists, including Ayer

·         Stevenson’s emotivism and the question whether it entails moral nihilism

·         Quine’s attack on the analytic/synthetic distinction and reductionism

·         Quine’s defense of nominalism and criticism of Platonic realism

These course-specific learning outcomes contribute to the learning outcomes of the Philosophy Program by enabling students better to

·         discuss the general historical development of the discipline of philosophy and selected major historical figures in philosophy

·         ask philosophical questions

·         incorporate philosophical positions in oral and written communications

·         outline critically and analyze philosophical questions


METHODS OF INSTRUCTION: The typical class session will consist of about 75% lecture and 25% class discussion. Lectures are intended to elucidate and provide supplementary information relevant to the reading assignments and to form the basis for a vigorous class discussion of the arguments and theories at hand. Reading assignments will be made on a regular basis. In order to benefit fully from lectures and to participate meaningfully in class discussion, it is a must that you do the reading when it is assigned.



·         Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology, edited by A. P. Martinich and David Sosa, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.



·         Mid-term examination (20%). Mixed format. See course schedule below for date.

·         Comprehensive final examination (30%). Mixed format. This will cover nearly all of the material we will consider throughout the entire semester.

·         Term paper (30%). Minimum length: 2,500 words. See “Writing a Philosophy Paper” and “Term Paper Instructions” on the class website. You must give me a draft on which to comment by no later than Thursday November 1. You may give me the draft at any earlier date.  Your draft should be at least 1,500 words long.

·         Response papers (20%). Minimum length: 750 words per response paper. See “Instructions for Writing Response Papers” on the class web site.

·         Class participation does not contribute to your final grade in any fixed way, but I will consider giving borderline students the next highest grade if their in-class questions and contributions to class discussions warrant my doing so.

·         GRADING SCALE:

A    100 – 90.1%

B    90.0 – 80.1%

C    80.0 – 70.1%

D    70.0 – 60.1%

F    60.0 - 0%

·         I am prohibited by UWG rules from disclosing your grades via email, even to your UWG email address. Your grades in this class will be posted in CourseDen as soon as they are available.



·         If you know that you will need to miss class on a day on which a test is scheduled (for example, due to a UWG sponsored event), you must let me know about your absence as far in advance as possible so that we can schedule another day and time for you to take the test (or a make-up test). If you miss a test without receiving my explicit permission beforehand and making arrangements for a make-up test, you will be permitted to take a make-up test if and only if one of the following conditions applies: (a) Your absence was due to illness or injury serious enough to require professional medical care and which prevented you from contacting me before the test; or (b) Your absence was due to other extenuating circumstances beyond your control. I will determine on a case-by-case basis what constitutes "extenuating circumstances beyond your control." You may be required to provide documentation pertaining to your absence before you are allowed to take a make-up test. Make-up tests will usually be longer and potentially more difficult than the original test that you missed.

·         Extra-credit work will not be given under any circumstances.




·         You may miss four class meetings with no effect on your grade. Beginning with your fifth absence, you will lose five points from your final average for every class meeting you miss. This policy applies to the first week of class, even for days on which you have not yet registered for the class. I will make exceptions for absences necessitated by UWG-sponsored events or by other circumstances that were absolutely outside your control. However, I will make these exceptions only if ALL of your absences can be accounted for in one of these ways (e.g., if you miss five classes and you have documented, acceptable reasons for missing only four classes, then your fifth absence will still count against you). Documentation will be required in all cases in which I make an exception to this attendance policy.

·         Students who miss 8 or more class meetings (four weeks, or one month, worth of classes) will not earn a passing grade in this course. In this case the reason for your absences is irrelevant. If you are unable to attend class for a month due to medical reasons, a family emergency, or any other reason, you should withdraw from the course; if the withdrawal date has passed, you should apply for a hardship withdrawal.

·         An early departure or late arrival may be counted as an absence, depending on the circumstances. I will decide in each case whether an early departure or a late arrival counts as an absence. If you know before class that you will not be able to stay for the entire class session, please inform me of this before class and sit as close to the door as possible, so as to cause as small a distraction as possible when you leave.

·         From the UWG Undergraduate Catalog:  “Class attendance policies are determined by each instructor for his or her own classes, subject to the following principles: class attendance policies shall be stated clearly during the drop-add period; each student is responsible for everything which happens in class and is responsible for making specific arrangements with the instructor for the work missed, including that missed during illness or university-sponsored activities; students absent from class while officially representing the University should not be penalized in the calculation of final grades; students may be dropped from the class by the instructor for violation of the instructor's attendance policy with a grade of W up to the midpoint of the semester or with the grade of WF following the midpoint of the semester; any student who is unable to continue attendance in class should either drop the course, withdraw from the University, or make appropriate arrangements with the instructor; any student who must be absent for more than three successive days is required to notify the Student Development Center, Parker Hall, telephone 678-839-6428. It is also recommended that the student notify the instructor or department. Faculty members have the authority to drop students who do not contact them or attend the first two class meetings for classes which meet daily (or the first class meeting for classes which meet less frequently). Faculty do not, however, automatically drop students who miss these first classes. Students who do not intend to remain in a course must drop the course before the end of the official drop/add period. Failure to drop a course during the drop/add period may result in grades of F in courses not attended.”



·         You may not use laptop computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices while class is in session. Turn off all laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices before class begins.

·         Do not leave the room during class unless it is absolutely essential that you do so. Leaving the classroom while class is in session (e.g., to visit the restroom) is both disrespectful and distracting. So when you come to class, be prepared to remain in the classroom for the full duration of the class period.

·         Do not study material from other classes while this class is in session. While you are in this class, I expect your attention to be focused on it rather than on your other courses.

·         Students may be dismissed from any class meeting at which they exhibit behavior that disrupts the learning environment of others. Such behavior includes – but is not limited to – arriving late for class, allowing cell phones to ring, speaking disrespectfully to the instructor and/or to other students, and using personal audio or visual devices. Each dismissal of this kind will count as an absence and will be applied toward the attendance policy above.




·         I pledge to do my best to work with the University to provide all students with equal access to my classes and materials, regardless of special needs, temporary or permanent disability, special needs related to pregnancy, etc.

·         If you have any special learning needs, particularly (but not limited to) needs defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and require specific accommodations, please do not hesitate to make these known to me, either yourself or through Disability Services in 272 Parker Hall.

·         Students with documented special needs may expect accommodation in relation to classroom accessibility, modification of testing, special test administration, etc. This is not only my personal commitment: it is your right, and it is the law.

·         For more information, please contact Disability Services at the University of West Georgia.




·         “University of West Georgia students are provided a MyUWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important University related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her email.

·         “At the University of West Georgia we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the honor code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism*, cheating*, fabrication*, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing. Definitions:

Cheating: ‘using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids’

Fabrication: “falsification or unauthorized invention of any information or citation’

Plagiarism: ‘representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own. Direct quotations must be indicated and ideas of another must be appropriately acknowledged’”





THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND MAY CHANGE AS THE SEMESTER PROGRESSES. THIS INCLUDES TEST DATES AND DUE DATES FOR PAPERS, WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. If the class finds a specific topic especially interesting and/or difficult, then we may spend more than the allotted time on that topic. I will maintain an up-to-date version of the course schedule on the class web site. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to keep up with test dates, due dates, and reading assignments, either by checking the class web site or contacting me directly.


“M&S” refers to your textbook, Martinich and Sosa, eds., Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology, 2nd ed.




reading due

papers due/tests

21 T

What is analytic philosophy?



23 R

“Analytic” vs. “continental” philosophy

1. M&S 1-5;

2. Brian Leiter, “’Analytic’ and ‘Continental” Philosophy”;

3. William Blattner, “Some Thoughts about ‘Continental’ and ‘Analytic’ Philosophy”


28 T

Frege, “On Sense and Reference”

No reading


30 R

Frege, “On Sense and Reference”

M&S 9-12





reading due

papers due/tests

4 T


6 R

Frege, “On Sense and Reference”

M&S 12-13


11 T

Frege, “On Sense and Reference” (Dr. Brommage)

M&S 12-13


13 R

Frege, “The Thought” (Dr. Brommage)

M&S 22-34


18 T

Russell, “On Denoting” (Dr. Brommage)

M&S 35-38


20 R

Russell, “On Denoting”

M&S 38-42


25 T

Moore, “The Subject-matter of Ethics”

M&S 440-446 [although you will need to read 440-449 to complete the response paper that is due today]


27 R

Moore, “The Subject-matter of Ethics”

M&S 446-449





reading due

papers due/tests

2 T




4 R

Wittgenstein, Tractatus

M&S 118-120


9 T

Wittgenstein, Tractatus

M&S 120-124


11 R

Wittgenstein, Tractatus

M&S 124-128


Last day to withdraw is Friday October 12.

16 T

Ayer, “The Elimination of Metaphysics”

M&S 499-505


18 R

Ayer, “The Elimination of Metaphysics”



23 T

Stevenson, “The Emotive Meaning of…”

M&S 450-455


25 R

Stevenson, “The Emotive Meaning of…”

M&S 455-460


30 T

Wittgenstein, Blue and Brown Books

M&S 567-581






reading due

papers due/tests

1 R

Wittgenstein, Blue and Brown Books



6 T

Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

M&S 518-520


8 R

Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

M&S 520-526


13 T

Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

M&S 526-531


15 R

Quine, “On What There Is”

M&S 143-147


20 T

No class meeting: Thanksgiving Holiday



22 R

No class meeting: Thanksgiving Holiday



27 T

Quine, “On What There Is”

M&S 147-152


29 R

Review / wrap-up





TEST 3: COMPREHENSIVE FINAL EXAM: Thursday December 6, 8am-10:30am