Colloquium: Jennifer Saul (University of Waterloo)

 Philosophy     Feb 4 2022 | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Zoom

Add to Calendar 02/04/2022 3:00 PM 02/04/2022 5:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Colloquium: Jennifer Saul (University of Waterloo) Please click the URL for event detail information. Zoom

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"Saying the Quiet Part Loud: How Figleaves Facilitate the Rise of Blatant Racism and Falsehood"

It is widely held that something has changed with respect to both blatantly racist speech and obvious falsehood  in recent years.  Both seem to have gone mainstream, to a shocking degree, in political speech.  There’s obviously nothing new at all about racism in politics, or about false political speech.  Yet since the Civil Rights movement politicians felt a need to conceal their racism at least partially, in response to the social unacceptability of explicit racism.  And concealment of falsehood obviously has a very long tradition in politics.  With the rise of the Far Right,  and the increasingly high profile of conspiracy theories, there seem to have been dramatic shifts. In this paper, I explain the linguistic mechanism of Figleaves, and argue that they have helped to facilitate both blatantly racist and blatantly false political speech.

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