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Language Loss and Illocutionary Silencing

Mind 129 (515):831-865 (2020)

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  1. Sociolinguistic Variation, Speech Acts, and Discursive Injustice.Ethan Nowak - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Despite its status at the heart of a closely related field, philosophers have so far mostly overlooked a phenomenon sociolinguists call ‘social meaning’. My aim in this paper will be to show that by properly acknowledging the significance of social meanings, we can identify an important new set of forms that discursive injustice takes. I begin by surveying some data from variationist sociolinguistics that reveal how subtle differences in the way a particular content is expressed allow us to perform importantly (...)
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  • Multiculturalism, Autonomy, and Language Preservation.Ethan Nowak - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    In this paper, I show how a novel treatment of speech acts can be combined with a well-known liberal argument for multiculturalism in a way that will justify claims about the preservation, protection, or accommodation of minority languages. The key to the paper is the claim that every language makes a distinctive range of speech acts possible, acts that cannot be realized by means of any other language. As a result, when a language disappears, so does a class of speech (...)
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  • Lost for words: anxiety, well-being, and the costs of conceptual deprivation.Ditte Marie Munch-Jurisic - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13583-13600.
    A range of contemporary voices argue that negative affective states like distress and anxiety can be morally productive, broaden our epistemic horizons and, under certain conditions, even contribute to social progress. But the potential benefits of stress depend on an agent’s capacity to constructively interpret their affective states. An inability to do so may be detrimental to an agent’s wellbeing and mental health. The broader political, cultural, and socio-economic context shapes the kinds of stressors agents are exposed to, but it (...)
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