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Tongue-tied: Rawls, political philosophy and metalinguistic awareness

Peled, Yael and Bonotti, Matteo 2016. Tongue-tied: Rawls, political philosophy and metalinguistic awareness. American Political Science Review 110 (4) , pp. 798-811. 10.1017/S0003055416000393

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication and will appear in the American Political Science Review published by Cambridge University Press. This document is the authors’ final accepted version of the journal article. There may be differences between this version and the published version. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from it.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0003-0554
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2016
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 14:30

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