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Language and Thought


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This course will introduce the student to the major perspectives on language and thought in the Western tradition, with emphasis on their origins in ancient and medieval philosophy, and in comparison with relevant samples of Arabic, Indian, and Chinese philosophical systems.

Course objectives

This course aims to acquaint students with the most revelant philosophical approaches to language and thought found in ancient and medieval philosophical schools, and the development of the distinctions and vocabulary that is used in contemporary philosophy of language.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • how language and thought relate to each other and to the world;

  • how concepts and arguments are formed through reflections on language;

  • how the grammatical structure of spoken languages influences philosophies of language

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • understand the fundamentals of philosophy of language and thought in a broad, global perspective.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Assessment method


  • Midterm written examination (open book essay) about first half of course

  • Final written examination (open book essay) about second half of course

  • Attendance and participation

Class preparation and attendance are required and are conditions for taking part in the examinations.


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average:

  • Midterm take home examination (open book essay) about first half of course: 45%

  • Final take home examination (open book essay) about second half of course: 45%

  • Attendance and participation: 10%


The resit consists of one take home examination that covers the midterm and final examinations: open book essay covering the whole course (90%).
The grade for the other exam component (preparation and attendence) remains in place.

Class preparation, attendance, and participation in the regular examinations are mandatory requirements for taking the resit. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the regular examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Brightspace prior to the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof. dr. F.A.J. de Haas


Not applicable.