Ideology and Intersectionality

In Ernest Lepore & Luvell Anderson (eds.), Oxford handbook of applied philosophy of language. New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2023)
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Analytic philosophers increasingly make reference to the concept of ideology to think about how representational structures can lead to oppression, and argue that the distinctively pernicious functioning of things like propaganda and generic generalizations need to be explained in terms of ideology. The aim of this paper is two-fold. First, it aims to serve as an introduction to (some of) the best contemporary work on ideology in the analytic tradition. Second, it proposes a novel challenge for any such theory. The challenge turns on the nature of intersectionality: it is hard to see how to render consistent the claims that ideology creates or sustains oppression with the claim that oppression is intersectional, without making substantial modifications to extant theories. The conclusion will be that certain projects in contemporary philosophy of language need to further develop their theories of ideology.

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