ASP326 - Language and Reality

Unit details


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Cathy Legg
Cohort rule:



Students must have passed at least one ASP-coded level 2 unit



Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 1 hour class per week, 1 x 1 hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online:

1 x 1 hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1 hour online seminar per week


*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery


How do we know what someone else's words mean? How does language "hook onto" the world so that we can say things that are true? If language-use is a distinctive feature of human beings, as opposed to other animals, what does this mean for human life? Do different languages create different realities? If so, what does that mean for a people whose language is taken from them? This unit will address these questions by exploring some influential theories about language developed by twentieth century philosophers, many of whom saw philosophy of language as the gateway to all other work in philosophy. The unit will focus on key figures from both analytic and Continental philosophy, including Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, Rorty, Brandom and Habermas.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Explain and articulate different philosophical approaches to the philosophy of language across analytical and continental traditions in the twentieth century

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

Analyse and evaluate the relationship between language, thought and reality in the context of twentieth century philosophical debates on these themes

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving


Communicate knowledge of philosophical ideas pertaining to language, including the distinction between sense and reference and theories of interpretation

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Online Exercises 600 words
or equivalent
15% Ongoing
Assessment 2 - Research and Writing Exercise 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Week 8
Assessment 3 - Essay 2400 words
or equivalent
60% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ASP326
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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