Cross-Linguistic Disagreement: An international conference on disagreement in the age of globalization

August 21, 2021 - August 22, 2021
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Shiinoki Cultural Complex

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Keynote speakers:

University of California, Irvine
Northwestern University
University of California, Berkeley


Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
University of Cologne

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Is it possible that two people, or two groups of people, disagree with each other and that is solely due to the difference of language? Let us suppose, for instance, that speakers of language A assert or accept “P” but speakers of language B deny its translation, while there is no ignorance, misunderstanding, or error about the world on either side. Is such a situation possible at all? One may think that it is not (since, for example, in such a situation the translation must be wrong). But others may think that it is at least conceptually possible. Still others may even claim that it is not only possible, but actual! Let us call such a situation cross-linguistic disagreement. The precise formulation of it has yet to be given. But whether actual or not, the possibility of cross-linguistic disagreement seems to raise many interesting and significant philosophical questions. For example,

Is cross-linguistic disagreement (if there is any) a case of faultless disagreement?

Is cross-linguistic disagreement (if there is any) settleable at all?


Should it be settled in the first place?  


Should we reduce our confidence in our philosophical views in the face of cross-linguistic disagreement concerning philosophically relevant judgments?

And of course,

Is cross-linguistic disagreement actual?

Or is it even possible?

This international, inter-disciplinary conference is meant to explore these and related questions.

This conference is a sequel to two preceding international conferences, Epistemology for the Rest of the World (2013), and Ethno-Epistemology (2016), both of which focused on the epistemological implications of linguistic and cultural divergence, whether there is any epistemologically important cross-linguistic (and also cross-cultural) difference, and if so, what are its epistemological implications. The volume based on the first conferences, Epistemology for the Rest of the World, was released from Oxford University Press in 2018, and the one based on the second conference, Ethno-Epistemology ~ New Directions for Global Epistemology was published from Routledge in 2020.

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1 person is attending:

Harold Sjursen

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