In Defense of Linguistic Luddism

by Moti Gorin ____ The Luddites weren’t a complacent group of workers. They worried about the loss of their jobs as a result of the introduction of new technologies, and so they went about destroying the textile machines that were rendering human laborers obsolete. The word 'Luddite' has since become a pejorative, applied to those... Continue Reading →

Race Talk

by Kevin Currie-Knight ____ Race talk – using racial categories as descriptors in conversation – is inevitably clunky. For the past several years I’ve noticed this, especially as the teacher of an Introduction to Diversity class where we discuss racial diversity, among other things. Race is a hard thing to talk about sensibly, not just... Continue Reading →

Linguistic Discrimination

by Miroslav Imbrišević ___ In 2013, an Argentinian philosopher working in the UK argued that analytic philosophers should publish in English rather than in their native tongue. [1] It looks like many have heeded his advice. This year, some institutions and scholars adopted the Barcelona Principles for a Globally Inclusive Philosophy (BP), which aim to... Continue Reading →

Individualism and cultural embeddedness

by Mark English ___ Mark English talks about his general goal of presenting and defending a form of individualism which takes seriously our cultural embeddedness, noting that universal political prescriptions – to the extent that they can be applied at all – are rarely successful. He refers to the surprising origins of neo-liberalism in Europe... Continue Reading →

Thoughts on the Nature of Language and Meaning

by Mark English In 1936 the high-profile publisher and promoter of humanitarian and radical causes, Victor Gollancz, published a little book called Language, Truth and Logic. The author was A. J. (Freddie) Ayer, then in his mid-twenties, an Old Etonian and graduate of the University of Oxford. The work was crisply and provocatively written. It... Continue Reading →

Conceptualizing Language

by Mark English ____ Complex language is a precondition not only for the kinds of interaction which characterize human societies but also for many kinds of thinking. It is both social and biological. A language only develops in a context of social continuity over an extended period of time, though it is typically learned very... Continue Reading →

Racist Language

by Miroslav Imbrišević I’m white, but I know a thing or two about racism. When I was three, my parents moved to Germany. In kindergarten, a boy once invited me to come and play at his home in the afternoon. I had never been to a German home. We played in the vegetable patch, and... Continue Reading →

Larousse Concise Woke-English/English-Woke Dictionary

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Every culture and sub-culture develops and employs its own distinctive terminology and sometimes even its own language. At times, these linguistic innovations may be difficult to understand, especially in the absence of competent bilinguals. Perhaps one of the best contemporary examples of such a language is that of the Woke... Continue Reading →

Time and Language

by Mark English ____ There is the physics of time, and then there is time as we experience it. Natural languages provide quite complex mechanisms for expressing the latter, but it would be a mistake to think that they could ever provide adequate tools for dealing with the former. Physicists cannot dispense with ordinary language,... Continue Reading →

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