Diagnosis: Russell Aphasia

by Zack_M_Davis1 min read6th Aug 20191 comment


Public DiscoursePhilosophy of Language

Samuel the Fifth at Status 451 considers the implications of Russell conjugation, or emotive conjugation (example: she lied; you distorted the truth; I honestly reported unconsciously biased beliefs). June 2019, ~1200 words.

Samuel emphasizes that this phenomenon isn't merely a matter of perceiving the outgroup in a negative light. Even if the different "forms" in a Russell-conjugation triplet are synonyms, they're not exact synonyms: "lie" and "rationalize" actually mean different things. The inability to separate the denotative content of language from an imputed enactive "side-channel attack" about who is to be blamed is a critical threat to our collective ability to construct shared maps that reflect the territory! Key quote:

A culture that cannot tell the difference between "reporting" and "doxing" and merely considers it "doxing" when they do it, is a culture that cannot accurately talk about behavior anymore. It's a culture where the words have been spun so much, that they have lost their objective meaning, and are now instead used more interchangeably to deliver more subjective messages. It's also a culture where not enough people feel the need to define their words, and to actually figure out what counts as reporting, as gossiping, as doxing, because this way the words can be used strategically in the moment, without having to be fully consistent with next time.