Profile PictureMahmoud Rasmi

Language, Politics, Culture Wars, and Subtweets

Dear all,

Hope you're all doing well. Yesterday I saw a tweet that said: "Imagine paying for a 'philosophy course' when you could just read a few books." It was subtweeting me because I had just tweeted that we finally crossed $50k on Gumroad.

First, I would like to thank all of you very much for your continuous support, and for signing up for any of my courses or buying my book.

Second, the above tweet was a wake-up call for me.

Indeed, imagine signing up for a philosophy course! That's why we decided to make the October course on Language & Politics.

This one will be taught by linguist Colin Gorrie, who already taught Language & Philosophy with us last year.

Philippe and I will join the sessions to heckle only, given that politics is not our strong suit.

In our attempt to revise our business model for next year, and to make the courses more accessible to everyone, we decided to drop the prices to $70.

The course will be a 3-week one. It will start on October 11. The schedule is as per usual, Tuesdays @ 7 PM CET.

Here's what the sessions will look like:

Week 1

The rectification of names. Does a thing's name reflect its nature? What happens when names don't match what they refer to? Can society survive it?

  • Plato. Cratylus: 383a–390e, 427d–440e.
  • Confucius. Analects: 12.11, 13.3, 3.1, 3.2, 6.25.

Week 2

Language, persuasion, and social control. How is language used to persuade? Can rulers to use language to manipulate and control their subjects? Should they?

  • Orwell 1946. Politics and the English language.
  • Skinner 1972. Excerpts from Q&As on Behaviourism.
  • Chomsky 2000s–2010s. Excerpts from Q&As on Behaviourism.

Week 3

Language in the culture wars. Many linguists have taken sides in the culture wars of our times. Some of the most prominent public linguists have taken positions on the more conservative side. What are their arguments? Are they based on science or personal opinion?

  • Figueroa and Gillon 2017. Grammar Not-zi. The Vocal Fries (podcast).
  • Pinker and McWhorter 2018. Language and progress (interview).

If you like language, politics, or both, then this course might as well be for you. More information is available at the following link!

Sign me up!

Thank you very much.

Best regards,



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