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LOGICAL SEMIOTICS - possible topics of annual essays and a few remarks

topic / literature / anticipated maximum grade

"Mill, Frege and Searle on Proper Names — Comparison of the Theories"

- Mill, “Of Names”

- Frege, “Sense and Reference”

"Russell, Strawson and Donnellan on Definite Descriptions — Comparison of the Theories"

- Russell, “Descriptions”

- Strawson, “On Referring”

- Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”

"Comparison of Searle’s and Kripke’s Views on Proper Names — Do They Differ that Much?"

- Searle, “Proper Names”

- Kripke, “Naming and Necessity”

- Searle, “Proper Names and Intentionality” (ch. 9 from his book “Intentionality”)

"Donnellan’s Attributive vs. Referential Distinction in the Light of Grice’s Theory of Implicatures"

- Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”

- Grice, “Logic and Conversation”

- Levinson, “Conversational Implicature” (ch. 3 from his book “Pragmatics”)

"Quine and Searle on Analyticity — Who is Right?"

- Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

- Searle, “Methods and Scope” (ch. 1 from his book “Speech Acts”)

"Performatives Work in Mysterious Ways" :)

- Searle, “How performatives work”

- Bach & Harnisch, “How performatives really work.

A reply to Searle”

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You can write an essay in Logical Semiotics but it is NOT MANDATORY for passing the subject itself.

The topics mentioned here are exemplary - if you would like to prepare an essay on some other issues you are welcome to do that. However, you have to discuss the topic with me first.


Each list of literature includes texts being familiar with which is necessary and sufficient condition to write essay on a given topic, however, student can of course look for further references on her/his own or with my help. Most papers mentioned in the table are available to download in the Resources.


Anticipated maximum grade (in circles) is a grade that will be obtained for a very well prepared essay on a given topic. It doesn’t mean that it is impossible to get a better grade than the anticipated maximum one, but to do that student has to write truly brilliant paper.


Writing annual essays during the studies is aimed to prepare students for the main job of professional philosophers which is… writing philosophical essays. Logical Semiotics is a course addressed mainly to undergraduates, so while intellectual and technical fireworks are not presupposed (though very welcome of course!), I will not accept essays that do not satisfy common editing standards like justified paragraphs, page numbering, correctly formatted footnotes and bibliography etc. I assure that if you will ever think of publishing your paper in a professional journal, such things have to be done properly! :)


Deadline for submitting an annual essay is the end of August in a given year.




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