Linguistic Philosophy: The Central Story

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How is that possible? Bhuvaneshwari across the border becomes Telangana Talli Telangana mother. So, when people speak of linguistic pride, they also need to simultaneously reflect on the nature of their linguistic nationalisms. Can the two be separated? The division of Andhra Pradesh into two in when the demand was for a three-way split was on a cultural basis. When the linguistic element becomes secondary and the cultural element takes precedence, then the interplay between the national and sub-national is bound to have a fresh dynamic.

J. L. Austin

In Karnataka too, the absence of an emotional bond between the culturally distinct northern and southern parts of the state has periodically threatened to end linguistic unity. The northern districts with Lingayats as a dominant force have been faithful to the BJP for two decades now. The Lingayat religion movement, which tried to wean the community away from the Hindutva project, did not offer electoral dividends. The larger question to ponder is if the linguistic state has slowly started taking a back seat over cultural and economic ideas? Are linguistic communities, which have geographically spread out and technologically connected, thinking beyond the linguistic state?

The Tamil country is always cited when it comes to linguistic debates. It may still be the strongest bastion against the imposition of Hindi, but with the dilution of the Dravidian ideology, with Dravidian icons gone, and Dravidian parties having shared power with the BJP, only nostalgia of the anti-Hindi protests has so far spurred statements and political action.

There is no innovation. For every forceful statement of Stalin and Kamal Hasan, there is the ambiguity of Rajinikanth.

Unfortunately, in India, you cannot have a common language. Regret that there cannot be a single language. September happens to be the month of the birth anniversaries of both Periyar E. Ramasamy and C. Annadurai, the Dravidian stalwarts.

Imagination is ancient

For them, linguistic resistance was part of a larger cultural and ethnic scheme. But now, language is being viewed as a stand-alone piece. It is merely an arithmetical majority. With Kashmir and Assam having become the new axis of nationalist and sub-nationalist experiments and exclusion, one has to closely watch how these ideas percolate into other linguistic and cultural territories within India. When Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Nehru initially thought of linguistic territories, their intent and purpose was to first unite India and then flourish as a federation of autonomous cultures.

Like the secular, liberal idea of Kashmiriyat was forged, each linguistic territory adopted a benign, lofty purpose. The trajectory of the rise of the BJP, and along with it Hindu majoritarianism, can be traced to the same moment as the beginning of the Kashmir insurgency, which in many ways embodies its own majoritarianism.

Themes : Linguistics : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia

On 18 September, Amit Shah offered a concession more than a clarification to his earlier statement by saying Hindi could be the second language. This may remain a threat but the mechanics of its utterance is about keeping a central theme, a common narrative, going for the entire nation beyond linguistic divides. Technically, there may be linguistic diversity but what if all Indian languages pick up the vocabulary of the NRC, the foreigner courts in Assam, and detention centres?

Therefore, linguistic pride and resistance should urgently recover and rediscover independent knowledge cosmologies, worldview, and rootedly cosmopolitan traits of their linguistic cultures. The pragmatic and the linguistic turn that pragmatism and analytic philosophy respectively made can be fruitfully described as reactions to frames of mind that relegated philosophical thought into an ivory tower of systems of knowledge and presuppositions, severing in this way philosophy from the ordinary.

Philosophical explanations should leave the way to the description of our practices of knowledge, judgment and action, so that they can speak with their own distinctive voice without being suffocated into theories that have no respect for their individual character. This way of characterizing the method of philosophical activity has immediate bearings for ethics, and in PT Bernstein gives us some advices about how to conceive moral thought after the linguistic and the pragmatic turn.

Here I would like to briefly explore them in a direction made hospitable by the conception of philosophy presented in the previous section. This alternative understanding of ethics is critical of those projects picturing moral thought as the advancement of moral theories.

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Such a conception expresses our very stance toward experience when we take it at face value without trying to force it under a general and misleading label. James was fully aware that the type of pluralism that he professed was offensive to many philosophers. He speaks about a deep philosophical impulse that wants something more orderly, more clear-cut, and more systematic.

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In this respect, James would have found a great ally in the later Wittgenstein, who also sought to cure philosophers of the craving for definitive order […] Pluralism, in contrast to dogmatic monism, does not deny unity, but directs us to ask what kind of unity we are talking about — to look and see just how much unity we really discover and what kind of unity we mean.

Moral reflection should consist in a descriptive exercise, in which we challenge those frames of mind that impede us to have a genuine grasp on the moral life, such as the craving for philosophical theories about the good or the right with their unimaginative way of portraying moral disagreement. Bernstein works with Putnam in presenting the lesson of method which pragmatism has to teach us interested in thinking about the questions surrounding the alleged dichotomy.

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This recognition should warn us that the alleged dichotomy, far from a monolithic conception about the very constituents of the world, is better to be understood as the expression of the varieties of encounters we can have with the world. According to Bernstein, by describing such encounters together with the responses and the accounts we are prone to give, it will emerge how the dichotomy itself is functional to serve specific philosophical or personal purposes. Such a conception, far from dismissing it, invites us to re-describe the dichotomy in a way that resists its petrification into a crystallized divide.

The task of philosophy is that of depicting the variety of forms that the dichotomy can take and of uses we make of it in order to assess their validity and shortcomings, resisting the temptation of mistaking our use of such a dichotomy with its necessity.

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Philosophical activity conducted in the mood of the pragmatic-cum-linguistic turn aims at clarifying all these different uses, suggesting the difficulties that we encounter when we try to reduce them to a unique model of explanation. This has major outcomes in moral philosophy since it undermines all those accounts of the moral life that are vitiated by foundational anxieties about the shape it should have and the principles that should animate it.

Bernard Williams on the Spell of Linguistic Philosophy (1977)

It is in the discussion of this divide that Bernstein sketches an alternative way of conceiving the task of moral and practical philosophy. Bernstein argues that this is the kind of divide that pragmatists question, since if we look at the practices animating our ordinary lives, we do not find any clear-cut divide of the sort Habermas, after Kant, is arguing for.

Such a distinction should be thought itself as the result of our ways of responding to such situations, since even what we call universalistic principles have shifting contours. It is not just that there are learning processes about what count as universal moral norms — a point Habermas emphasizes. But in the course of history, unanticipated consequences and structural transformations require radical rethinking of the very meaning of morality, responsibility, and justice.

Once acknowledged that our moral distinctions and evaluations are a function of the place they occupy in our ordinary practices of morality, moral reflection should abandon the pretence to draw categorical distinctions and look at the ways in which we understand and speak about the varieties of considerations that are at stake in our ordinary moral experiencing.

Bernstein asks us to look for the difference that makes a difference in order to assess the very nature of a moral norm or of an ethical value. These considerations about the very nature of ethics are the best evidence of the philosophical method we have sketched in the previous section, since they form an impressive battery of critiques to the way of thinking moral thought as the advancement of philosophical requirements and theories on the moral life. What Bernstein — following James, Wittgenstein, Putnam, and the pragmatist side of Habermas — is calling for is a more resourceful method for understanding the point and shape of what morality should look like.

From the scanty examples we have extracted from the dialectic of PT it emerges a very interesting picture of moral thought as an exhortative activity in which we are called for the development of an ethical sensibility in order to contrast the shrinkage of moral experiences affecting ethics when it is conceived as the advancement of moral theories.

In ethics, as in philosophy altogether, we should abandon any foundationalist pretense by challenging our own expectations about how its shape should be like. Saatkamp Jr.

Linguistic Anthropology Definition

Frisina eds. Conversations with Richard J. And Other Essays in Popular Philosophy , ed. Burkhardt, F. Skrupskelis []. Explores the role language plays in the relationship between reality and utterance. Garth Hallett, First published in Ewing, Finding a powerful ally in Bertrand Russell, who provided the foreword for this book, Gellner embarked on the project that was to put him on the intellectual map.

Ernest Gellner, The Linguistic Turn provides a rich and representative introduction to the entire historical and doctrinal range of the linguistic philosophy movement. Richard Rorty, David Prager Branner, Therefore, this book need not be read in any specific order.

Whenever a chapter presupposes an understanding of something that is explained elsewhere in the book, a specific cross-reference is given. Mackenzie, Gayatri Rath,