CFP: Political Language and the Languages of Political Theories
Submission deadline: February 15, 2024
April 22, 2024 - April 26, 2024
Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics
A discussion on the connection between language and politics entails the introduction of a division into at least 'language in politics (political language)' and 'political theory languages'.The former deals with the political function of language: how it is used in politics, for political communication, to achieve certain political aims. Politics here is understood as a sphere of human life in which action is carried out with the help of speech, hence language is one of the greatest tools for constructing and presenting political reality. This sphere of human activity is possible partially due to our being capable of Collective intentionality, similarly to many types of animals. However, in contrast to them, we actively recognize and use symbols, tying functions to physical objects and thus forming constitutive rules, which we then follow. The results of these complex processes are language and the institutional order it creates and maintains. In this way, it is clear to see that a steady grasp of language and speech is fundamental for political ontology, and that research into natural language in its political dimension, along with the political practices of its implementation, belong to the realm of political philosophy.
On the other hand, the question concerning the languages of political theories unfalteringly leads researchers to discussing different national and meta-national systems of understanding, their translatability and adaptivity, and to questioning the extent to which national political philosophy is capable of developing its own language, as opposed to how much it unavoidably has to borrow from other cultures. In recent decades this question stands especially relevant for Russian political culture, limited in its self-expression by its own terminological muteness (and sometimes deafness).
These, among other related questions, are suggested for discussion at the 'Political Language and the Languages of Political Theories' Conference. The organizers aim to discuss the theoretical and practical problems intrinsic to forming a political language and the functioning of language in politics. Special attention may be paid to the notions of self-description of political theories and political philosophy’s ties to philosophy of language on one hand, and the history of terminology and intellectual history on the other.
The format of the conference comprises 30 minutes for presentation and an additional 20 minutes for questions and discussion per each participant. Both physical and online participation are possible, though the former is preferable.