About this Project

2014 – 2017

This project brought together faculty from linguistics and philosophy for a three-year program of activities investigating the nature of subjective language and thought. Linguists and philosophers have traditionally examined the role of language and thought as a medium for (mis)representing objective facts about the world we are living in. However, language is also an important tool for sharing subjective perspectives with others, and clearly not all thoughts are objective. Overcoming the limitations of the dominant view of linguistic and mental content as essentially descriptive has implications that cut across traditional distinctions between linguistics and philosophy: they impact philosophical attempts to understand the nature of normative thoughts and reasoning, and they challenge the way linguists tend to think to about the nature of linguistic meaning. The methodological foundation for this project, therefore, is that progress on our understanding of subjective language and thought necessitates a large-scale collaboration between the disciplines.

Project activities included bi-weekly meetings, visiting speakers, and a major conference, and was designed to clarify empirical and conceptual issues in a way that will promote and enrich cross-disciplinary faculty research at the University of Chicago and catalyze new collaborations with scholars interested in subjectivity and normativity.


Two Neubauer Collegium Principal Investigators awarded Named Professorships

August 16, 2016

Chris Kennedy, project investigator for the Neubauer Collegium project Subjectivity in Language and Thought has been named the William H. Colvin Professor in Linguistics and the College. Jason Merchant, project investigator for the Neubauer Collegium project Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation, has been named the first Lorna Puttkammer Straus Professor in Linguistics and the College. 

-- UChicago News


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