Linguistics and Philosophy

A photograph of the exterior of a building on the MIT campus on a sunny day.

The STATA Center, home of the Linguistics and Philosophy department. (Photo courtesy of solsken on Flickr.)

Featured Courses

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.


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.

Linguistics and Philosophy Courses

Course # Course Title Level
24.00 Problems in Philosophy Undergraduate
24.01 Classics in Western Philosophy Undergraduate
24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life Undergraduate
24.03 Good Food: The Ethics and Politics of Food Choices Undergraduate
24.03 Relativism, Reason, and Reality Undergraduate
24.04J Justice Undergraduate
24.06J Bioethics Undergraduate
24.08J Philosophical Issues in Brain Science Undergraduate
24.09 Minds and Machines Undergraduate
24.111 Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics Undergraduate
24.118 Paradox & Infinity Undergraduate
24.120 Moral Psychology Undergraduate
24.200 Ancient Philosophy Undergraduate
24.201 Topics in the History of Philosophy: Kant Undergraduate
24.209 Philosophy In Film and Other Media Undergraduate
24.211 Theory of Knowledge Undergraduate
24.213 Philosophy of Film Undergraduate
24.221 Metaphysics Undergraduate
24.221 Metaphysics: Free Will Undergraduate
24.222 Decisions, Games, and Rational Choice Undergraduate
24.231 Ethics Undergraduate
24.235J Philosophy of Law Undergraduate
24.237 Feminist Political Thought Undergraduate
24.241 Logic I (Fall 2009) Undergraduate
24.241 Logic I (Fall 2005) Undergraduate
24.242 Logic II Undergraduate
24.244 Modal Logic Undergraduate
24.251 Introduction to Philosophy of Language (Fall 2011) Undergraduate
24.251 Introduction to Philosophy of Language (Spring 2006) Undergraduate
24.251 Introduction to Philosophy of Language (Spring 2005) Undergraduate
24.260 Topics in Philosophy: David Lewis Undergraduate
24.261 Philosophy of Love in the Western World Undergraduate
24.262 Feeling and Imagination in Art, Science, and Technology Undergraduate
24.263 The Nature of Creativity Undergraduate
24.264 Film as Visual and Literary Mythmaking Undergraduate
24.500 Other Minds Undergraduate
24.900 Introduction to Linguistics Undergraduate
24.901 Language and Its Structure I: Phonology (Fall 2010) Undergraduate
24.902 Language and its Structure II: Syntax Undergraduate
24.903 Language and its Structure III: Semantics and Pragmatics (Spring 2005) Undergraduate
24.904J Language Acquisition Undergraduate
24.905J Psycholinguistics Undergraduate
24.906J Linguistic Studies of Bilingualism Undergraduate
24.907J Abnormal Language Undergraduate
24.910 Topics in Linguistic Theory: Propositional Attitudes Undergraduate
24.910 Topics in Linguistic Theory: Laboratory Phonology Undergraduate
24.910 Topics in Linguistics Theory Undergraduate
24.912J Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies Undergraduate
24.919 Topics in Linguistics: Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities Undergraduate
24.946 Linguistic Theory and the Japanese Language Undergraduate
24.400 Proseminar in Philosophy I Graduate
24.500 Topics in Philosophy of Mind: Perceptual Experience Graduate
24.500 Topics in Philosophy of Mind: Self-Knowledge Graduate
24.611J Political Philosophy: Global Justice Graduate
24.729 Topics in Philosophy of Language: Modeling Representation Graduate
24.729 Topics in Philosophy of Language: Vagueness Graduate
24.805 Topics in Theory of Knowledge: A Priori Knowledge Graduate
24.810 Topics in Philosophy of Science: Social Science Graduate
24.892 Classification, Natural Kinds, and Conceptual Change: Race as a Case Study Graduate
24.921 Special Topics in Linguistics: Genericity Graduate
24.931 Language and Its Structure I: Phonology (Fall 2010) Graduate
24.933 Language and its Structure III: Semantics and Pragmatics (Spring 2005) Graduate
24.941J The Lexicon and Its Features Graduate
24.942 Grammar of a Less Familiar Language Graduate
24.945J Language Processing Graduate
24.947 Language Disorders in Children Graduate
24.949J Language Acquisition I Graduate
24.951 Introduction to Syntax Graduate
24.952 Advanced Syntax Graduate
24.953 Argument Structure and Syntax Graduate
24.954 Pragmatics in Linguistic Theory (Spring 2010) Graduate
24.954 Pragmatics in Linguistic Theory (Fall 2006) Graduate
24.960 Syntactic Models Graduate
24.961 Introduction to Phonology Graduate
24.962 Advanced Phonology Graduate
24.963 Linguistic Phonetics Graduate
24.964 Topics in Phonology: Phonetic Realization Graduate
24.964 Topics in Phonology Graduate
24.966J Laboratory on the Physiology, Acoustics, and Perception of Speech Graduate
24.968J Speech Communication Graduate
24.973 Advanced Semantics Graduate
24.979 Topics in Semantics Graduate