Filippo Contesi - Philosophy’s Linguistic Rut

Dove e quando

Aula Meridiana, Via Balbi 5, Genova

Tuesday 26 September 2023, h. 17.00

Philosophy’s Linguistic Rut

Conference by Filippo Contesi (Universitat de Barcelona)


The philosophical tradition that is mainstream in much of the world today, viz. analytic philosophy, has traditionally seen language as the key to understanding the world philosophically. Although such an overt emphasis on language has diminished in more recent decades, it is still covertly crucial in establishing what the ideal philosophical contribution looks like and in determining which philosophical voices are most heard in contemporary philosophy. This is in part a consequence of, on the one hand, analytic philosophy being for a long time overwhelmingly practiced in majority Anglophone countries and, on the other, the adoption of English as the lingua franca of much of academia. However, the current predicament has undesirable consequences both on the quality and on the internationalization of contemporary philosophy. In a moment in which academic globalization and migration should be standard, philosophy remains too provincial and unjustifiably burdened with structural barriers for non-native Anglophone philosophers. Indeed, philosophy appears to be less diverse with respect to non-native Anglophone scholars than many other academic disciplines in the sciences and the humanities alike. This calls for greater attention to linguistic, and hence cultural diversity, in contemporary philosophy, to avoid that the “linguistic turn” in philosophy turn into a “linguistic rut”.

Last update 1 September 2023