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Linguistics and Philosophy (24) - Archived

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Linguistics and Philosophy (24) - Archived


As its name suggests, the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy houses a linguistics section and a philosophy section. Though they share a number of intellectual interests and a joint undergraduate major, these two sections are administratively autonomous with separate chairpersons, faculties, admissions procedures, curricular and degree requirements, and financial aid programs.


The research conducted by the MIT Linguistics Program strives to develop a general theory that reveals the rules and laws that govern the structure of particular languages, and the general laws and principles governing all natural languages. The core of the program includes most of the traditional subfields of linguistics: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and psycholinguistics, as well as questions concerning the interrelations between linguistics and other disciplines such as philosophy and logic, literary studies, the study of formal languages, acoustics, and computer science.

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The Philosophy section of MIT's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy offers two undergraduate majors: one a general philosophy major, and another joint major with the linguistics section in the foundations of the study of language and mind. For more than 30 years, the Department has also had an outstanding Ph.D. program that attracts students from around the world, and has placed its graduates on the faculties of the world's leading universities.

The Department's faculty is small, but has research and teaching strengths in a wide range of areas of philosophy, including metaphysics, logic, the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind, ethics,
and political philosophy. The MIT philosophy program also offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary work in linguistics, mathematics, and political science.

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Recent Submissions

  • Yablo, Stephen (2005-12)
    This course focuses on the study of basic metaphysical issues concerning existence, the mind-body problem, personal identity, and causation plus its implications for freedom. The course explores classical as well as ...
  • Zoll, Cheryl; Steriade, Donca; Kenstowicz, Michael (2002-12)
    The year-long Introduction to Phonology reviews at the graduate level fundamental notions of phonological analysis and introduces students to current debates, research and analytical techniques. The Fall term reviews issues ...
  • Wood, Elizabeth A. (2010-06)
    In this course we will examine the development of feminist theory over time. Some subjects we will examine in detail include suffrage and equality; radical feminism; psychoanalysis and feminism; theories of power; sexuality ...
  • Byrne, Alex (2003-12)
    An intensive seminar on the foundations of analytic philosophy for first-year graduate students. A large selection of classic texts, from Frege's Foundations of Arithmetic to Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, ...
  • Flynn, Suzanne (2005-06)
    This core-curriculum linguistics class will provide some answers to basic questions about the nature of human language. Topics include the intricate system that governs language, how it is acquired, the similarities and ...