Performative language

How philosophy of language can help us communicate in a polarized society

Ariel Pontes
Jun 25 · 28 min read
Hashtags on black background
Hashtags on black background
Political hashtags: abortion is murder, me too, dairy is rape, fuck the police, black lives matter, meat is murder, no means no, taxation is theft, not all men, all lives matter.

Important concepts

Fuzzy categories

Sorites paradox illustration
Sorites paradox illustration

Language-games

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PHILOSOPHY — Ludwig Wittgenstein (The School of Life)

Family-resemblance

Prototype theory

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Comic extracted from Pinker, 1999

Speech acts

Applying the philosophy of language

Descriptive fallacy

Appeal to negative connotation

The “sloganification” of language

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There’s no such thing [as an underage woman]. An “underage woman” is a child! [There is no such thing as a child prostitute.] Children can’t consent. They are “rape victims” or “sexual assault survivors”. [There is no such thing as sex with minor.] It’s rape. Call it rape. [Non-consensual sex is] RAPE. Rapists don’t deserve politeness and victims deserve validation for what they’ve been through.
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Lexico Dictionary (Powered by Oxford) [child] 1. A young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority.

Empathizers vs. systemizers

Communicating better

Ben Shapiro showing the middle finger with the caption “facts don’t care about your feelings”
Ben Shapiro showing the middle finger with the caption “facts don’t care about your feelings”

Conclusion

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