CFP: Language - Uses and Misuses

Submission deadline: January 31, 2020

Conference date(s):
April 22, 2020 - April 24, 2020

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of History and Philosophy, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
Bridgetown, Barbados

Topic areas


As has been evident worldwide in recent years, language, in its multifarious uses, both aids and inhibits our interactions with each other in a variety of spheres. Embedded and embodied in the language we use are particular world-views and normative stances. But to what extent are these positions shaped by the language, or shape language itself? What role does the language we use play in developing our cognitive and other psychological capacities, modulating action and contributing to our views of the world we live in? What are the implications for recognising non-dominant languages and regional variations of languages? In this era of the proliferation of voices via social media and other multimedia tools, does language have an even more significant role in shaping political and ethical stances and decisions? If yes, does this imply the need for extending censorship?

The 15th Cave Hill Philosophy Symposium aims to explore such questions, by generally considering language in all its guises. We are interested in papers that consider the ethical, political, and social dimensions of language use, but we are also interested in considering what, if anything, we can still learn philosophically from attending to language. In keeping with the spirit of our conversations, we hope to bring together thinkers operating in and across different philosophical, political, and cultural traditions as well as other disciplines that share a boundary with philosophy.

Keynote speaker:  Professor Jennifer Saul (University of Waterloo). Jenny Saul is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy of Language at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Before that, she was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, where she worked for 24 years. Originally American, she has found her research recently dominated by trying to understand some of the linguistic mechanisms at work in the rise of the far right, especially in the US and the UK. She has published a number of papers on this topic. Jenny has also published several books: Feminism: Issues and Arguments (Oxford University Press 2003); Substitution, Simple Sentences, and Intuitions (Oxford University Press 2007); Lying, Misleading, and What is Said: An Exploration in Philosophy of Language and in Ethics (Oxford University Press 2012); and two volumes co-edited with Michael Brownstein: Implicit Bias and Philosophy Volumes I and II (Oxford University Press 2016).  Jenny has also done a lot of work on improving conditions for women in philosophy, founding the blogs Feminist Philosophers and What is it Like to be a Woman in Philosophy, and directing the Society for Women in Philosophy UK 2009-2019.  She co-authored the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme for Women in Philosophy, with Helen Beebee. Jenny's proudest accomplishment is having served as philosophical consultant on a zombie movie script.

Submission guidelines: Abstracts of 300-500 words should be sent as an attachment (Word-compatible or pdf format) by January 31, 2020 to [email protected]. Feedback on abstracts will be provided by February 7, 2020. Participants whose abstracts are accepted by the vetting committee will then be required to submit their completed papers via email as an attachment using .odt or .doc formats by March 31, 2020. These papers will then be posted online for other participants to consult prior to the conference with the intention that time at the Symposium can be devoted more to discussion than to exposition of the written papers.

Further information and some papers from earlier symposia are available at:

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