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.)

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.

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Archived Linguistics and Philosophy Courses

Some prior versions of courses listed above have been archived in OCW's DSpace@MIT repository for long-term access and preservation. Links to archived prior versions of a course may be found on that course's "Other Versions" tab.

Additionally, the Archived Linguistics and Philosophy Courses page has links to every archived course from this department.