Language and Freedom
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Freedom is, perhaps, one of the most frequently invoked concepts. It is affirmed and denied, its very existence as a genuine phenomenon rather than persistent illusion is attacked and defended, it is used as a propaganda tool and proclaimed as a call to arms. None of this can be done without language. Freedom and language have a complicated relationship. Many linguistic practices, e.g., using minority languages in tyrannies, are dangerous without a degree of political freedom. On the other hand, speaking and writing in a certain language can by itself be an act of fighting for freedom, a proclamation of allegiance to its cause. Language is essential for Enlightenment, for getting out of Unmündigkeit, the immature state of lacking a voice in the world. Developing a vocabulary proper for tackling issues like the logic of domination, subjugation of women, colonial and racial oppression, gender equality, animal liberation is key to expanding the circle of liberty. Multilinguality, besides expanding one’s sphere of choice and thus freedom, also affords a more nuanced look at the world and the self, greatly expands our ability to understand the world and ourselves. These are just some aspects of the philosophical ball of yarn where language and freedom are intertwined.
Our conference will contribute to the effort of illuminating the connections between language and freedom. We are bringing together philosophers of language and those who focus on freedom, as well as linguists and other scholars interested in the subject, for a conversation on how language and freedom interact, thus hoping to shed more light on humanity’s most essential aspects.
The conference will take place in Kyparissia, a charming town on the Mediterranean shore in Greece. It will follow a hybrid format. Presenters are encouraged to participate in person, but virtual presentations will be accepted as well. All presentations will be broadcasted via a teleconference. The organizers will offer a post-conference tour of the Mycenean Palace of Nestor at Pylos, weather and opening times permitting.
Call for Contributions
Prospective participants are encouraged to submit their proposals on the following topics:
Human freedom as discursive: mind, language, and freedom
Phenomenology of freedom: language, freedom, intersubjectivity
The enabling vocabularies of freedom: linguistic contributions for fighting injustice and prejudice.
Proposals in the form of 300-word paper abstracts, in English, Russian, or Ukrainian, suitable for blind review and posters should be submitted in MS-Word (docx), Google Docs, or PDF format to [email protected] before April 1, 2023.
Acceptance letters will be emailed no later than April 15, 2023.
Accepted papers should be submitted no later than August 16 so commentators can prepare their critique which will be presented after the papers.
Victor Gorbatov, Gasan Gusejnov, Nikolaj Plotnikov, Marina Sadomskaya, Michael Yudanin
Papers presented at the conference can be submitted for publication in the special issue of Free University’s journal, Palladium.https://freeuniversity.pubpub.org/palladium
Final paper versions for publication will be submitted for blind review no later than December 30, 2023. Acceptance letters will be emailed no later than January 30, 2024.
May 15, 2023, 5:00am EET