Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-vh8gq Total loading time: 0.311 Render date: 2022-09-26T01:34:11.966Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Tongue-Tied: Rawls, Political Philosophy and Metalinguistic Awareness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 December 2016

YAEL PELED*
Affiliation:
McGill University
MATTEO BONOTTI*
Affiliation:
Cardiff University
*
Yael Peled is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Language and Health, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Charles Meredith House, 1130 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A3, Canada; Faculty of Law, McGill University, Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9, Canada (Yael.peled@mcgill.ca).
Matteo Bonotti is Lecturer in Political Theory, Politics and International Relations, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX, WalesUK (BonottiM@cardiff.ac.uk).

Abstract

Is our moral cognition “colored” by the language(s) that we speak? Despite the centrality of language to political life and agency, limited attempts have been made thus far in contemporary political philosophy to consider this possibility. We therefore set out to explore the possible influence of linguistic relativity effects on political thinking in linguistically diverse societies. We begin by introducing the facts and fallacies of the “linguistic relativity” principle, and explore the various ways in which they “color,” often covertly, current normative debates. To illustrate this, we focus on two key Rawlsian concepts: the original position and public reason. We then move to consider the resulting epistemic challenges and opportunities facing contemporary multilingual democratic societies in an age of increased mobility, arguing for the consequent imperative of developing political metalinguistic awareness and political extelligence among political scientists, political philosophers, and political actors alike in an irreducibly complex linguistic world.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Aikhenvald, Alexandra. 2004. Evidentiality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Audard, Catherine, and Raynaud, Philippe. 2014. “Liberal, Liberalism.” In Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, ed. Cassin, Barbara. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 570–74.Google Scholar
Baker, Mona. 2007. Translation and Conflict: A Narrative. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Baratin, Marc, Cassin, Barbara, Rosier-Catach, Irène, Ildefonse, Frédérique, Lallot, Jean, and Léon, Jacqueline. 2014. “Word.” In Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, ed. Cassin, Barbara. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1243–56.Google Scholar
Baron, Denise. 2010. “The Gender-Neutral Pronoun: 150 Years Later, Still an Epic Fail.” OUPblog, August 26. http://blog.oup.com/2010/08/gender-neutral-pronoun/#sthash.zRyfIIGD.dpuf (accessed February 7, 2016).Google Scholar
Boas, Franz. [1911] 1966. “Introduction.” In Handbook of American Indian Languages, ed. Boas, Franz (reprint ed. Holder, Preston). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 179.Google Scholar
Cassin, Barbara, ed. 2014a. Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cassin, Barbara. 2014b. “Introduction.” In Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, ed. Cassin, Barbara. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, xviixx.Google Scholar
Chilton, Paul A. 2008. “Political Terminology.” In Handbook of Language and Communication in the Public Sphere, ed. Wodak, Ruth. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, 223–42.Google Scholar
Cohen, Raymond. 2004. Negotiating across Cultures (revised edition).Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
Collin, Richard Oliver. 2013. “Moving Political Meaning across Linguistic Frontiers.” Political Studies 61 (2): 282300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cook, Vivian, and Bassetti, Bene (eds.). 2011. Language and Bilingual Cognition. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
De Schutter, Helder. 2008. “The Linguistic Territoriality Principle – A critique.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (2): 105–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dixon, Robert M. W., and Aikhenvald, Alexandra. 2003. “Word: A Typological Framework.” In Word: A Cross-Linguistic Typology, eds. Dixon, Robert M. W. and Aikhenvald, Alexandra. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dupuis-Déri, Francis. 2004. “The Political Power of Words: The Birth of Pro-Democratic Discourse in the Nineteenth Century in the United States and France.” Political Studies 52 (1): 118–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freeden, Michael, and Vincent, Andrew. 2013. “Introduction: The Study of Comparative Political Thought.” In Comparative Political Thought: Theorizing Practices, eds. Freeden, Michael and Vincent, Andrew. London: Routledge, 123.Google Scholar
Gallie, Walter Bryce. 1956. “Essentially Contested Concepts.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56: 167–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gladkova, Anna. 2007. “Russian Emotions, Attitudes and Values: Selected Topics in Cultural Semantics”. Ph.D. thesis, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Gladkova, Anna. 2008. “Tolerance: New and Traditional Values in Russian in Comparison with English.” In Cross-Linguistic Semantics (Studies in Language Companion Series 102), ed. Goddard, Cliff. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 301–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goddard, Cliff. 2010. “The Natural Semantic Metalanguage Approach.” In The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis, eds. Henie, Bernd and Narrog, Heiko. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 459–84.Google Scholar
Graff, Harvey J. 2015. Undisciplining Knowledge: Interdisciplinarity in the Twentieth Century. Baltimore. Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Gumperz, John J., and Levinson, Stephen C.. 1996. “Introduction: Linguistic Relativity Re-Examined.” In Rethinking Linguistic Relativity, eds. Gumperz, John J. and Levinson, Stephan C.. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 120.Google Scholar
Hasada, Rie. 2008. “Two ‘Virtuous Emotions’ in Japanese: Nasake/Joo and Jihi .” In Ethnopragmatics: Understanding Discourse in Cultural Context, ed. Goddard, Cliff. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, 331–47.Google Scholar
Hasan-Rokem, Galit. 2008. “Martyr vs. Martyr: The Sacred Language of Violence.” In A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion. 2nd ed. Ed. Lambek, Michael. Oxford: Wiley, 99104.Google Scholar
Herder, Johann Gottfried. 1992. “On Diligence in the Study of Several Learned Languages.” In Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected Early Works, 1764-1767, Addresses, Essays and Drafts: Fragments on Recent German Literature, eds. Menze, Ernest A. and Menges, Karl. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2934.Google Scholar
Herder, Johann Gottfried. 2002. Philosophical Writings, trans. and ed. Forster, Michael N.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ives, Peter. 2014. “De-Politicizing Language: Obstacles to Political Theory's Engagement with Language Policy”. Language Policy 13 (4): 335–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jarvis, Scott, ed. 2011. “Cross-linguistic Influence in Bilinguals’ Concepts and Conceptualizations.” Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (special issue) 14 (1): 1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jarvis, Scott, and Pavlenko, Aneta. 2008. Cross-linguistic Influence in Language and Cognition. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Ishida, Takeshi. 1969. “Beyond the Traditional Concepts of Peace in Different Cultures.” Journal of Peace Research 6 (2): 133–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kymlicka, Will. 2001. Politics in the Vernacular. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kymlicka, Will, and Patten, Alan, eds. 2003, Language Rights and Political Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lakoff, George. 1996. Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Lakoff, George. 2003. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lakoff, George. 2008. The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Levinson, Stephen. 2012. “The Original Sin of Cognitive Science.” Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (3): 396403.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Louw, Dirk J. 2006. “The African Concept of Ubuntu and Restorative Justice.” In A Handbook of Restorative Justice: A Global Perspective, eds. Sullivan, Dennis and Tifft, Larry. New York: Routledge, 161–73.Google Scholar
Lucy, John A. 1992. Language, Diversity and Thought: A Reformulation of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maher, Brigid. 2002. “Natural Semantic Metalanguage Theory and Some Italian Speech Act Verbs.” Studies in Pragmatics 4: 3348.Google Scholar
Pavlenko, A. 2014. The Bilingual Mind and what It Tells Us about Language and Thought. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Pederson, Eric. 2007. “Cognitive Linguistics and Linguistic Relativity.” In The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, eds. Geeraerts, Dirk and Cuyckens, Hubert. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1012–44.Google Scholar
Peeters, Bert (ed.). 2006. Semantic Primes and Universal Grammar: Evidence from the Romance Languages, (Studies in Language Companion Series No. 81). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Postman, Neil. 1966. Language and Reality. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
Postman, Neil. 1995. The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
Puka, Bill. 2010. “The Golden Rule.” In Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, eds. James Fieser and Bradley Dowden. http://www.iep.utm.edu/goldrule/ (accessed 9 February 2016).Google Scholar
Quine, Willard Van Orman. 1953. “The Problem of Meaning in Linguistics.” In From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays, 2nd ed. revised. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 4764.Google Scholar
Rankin, Robert, Boyle, John, Grzczyk, Randolph, and Koontz, John. 2003. “A Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective on ‘Word’ in Siouan.” In Word: A Cross-Linguistic Typology, eds. Dixon, Robert M. W. and Aikhenvald, Alexandra. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 180204.Google Scholar
Rawls, John. 1999. A Theory of Justice, revised edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Rawls, John. 2001. Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Cambridge, MA: Belknap.Google Scholar
Rawls, John. 2005a. Political Liberalism, expanded edition. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Rawls, John. 2005b. “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited.” In Political Liberalism, expanded edition. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Safran, William. 2004. “Introduction: The Political Aspects of Language.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 10 (1): 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sapir, Edward. [1949] 1985. Selected Writings in Language, Culture and Personality, ed. Mandelbaum, David G.. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Schaffer, Frederic C. 1998. Democracy in Translation: Understanding Politics in an Unfamiliar Culture. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Slobin, Dan I. 1996. “From ‘Thought and Language’ to ‘Thinking for Speaking’.” In Rethinking Linguistic Relativity, eds. Gumperz, John J. and Levinson, Stephen C.. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 7096.Google Scholar
Stewart, Ian, and Cohen, Jack. 1997, Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Szalay, L.B. 1981. “Intercultural Communication - A Process Model.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 5 (2): 133–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Parijs, Philippe. 2011. Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vasylchenko, Andriy. 2014. “Svoboda.” Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, ed. Cassin, Barbara. Princeton and Oxford, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1105–8.Google Scholar
Von Humboldt, Wilhelm. 1988. On Language: The Diversity of Human Language Structure and Its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind, trans. Heath, Peter. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Whorf, Benjamin Lee. 1956, Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, ed. Caroll, John B.. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Wierzbicka, Anna. 1995. “Universal Semantic Primitives as a Basis for Lexical Semantics.” Folia Linguistica 29 (1-2): 149–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wierzbicka, Anna. 1997. Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German and Japanese. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Wierzbicka, Anna. 2006. English: Meaning and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wierzbicka, Anna. 2014. Imprisoned in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Wright, Sue. 2015. “What is Language? A Response to Philippe van Parijs.” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (2): 113–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhou, Minglang. 2000, “Metalinguistic Awareness in Linguistic Relativity: Cultural and Subcultural Practices across Chinese Dialect Communities.” In Explorations in Linguistic Relativity, eds. Pütz, Martin and Verspoor, Marjolijn H.. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 345–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
13
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Tongue-Tied: Rawls, Political Philosophy and Metalinguistic Awareness
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Tongue-Tied: Rawls, Political Philosophy and Metalinguistic Awareness
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Tongue-Tied: Rawls, Political Philosophy and Metalinguistic Awareness
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *