Linguistic labor and its division

Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1855-1871 (2019)
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This paper exposes a common mistake concerning the division of linguistic labor. I characterize the mistake as an overgeneralization from natural kind terms; this misleads philosophers about which terms are subject to the division of linguistic labor, what linguistic labor is, how linguistic labor is divided, and how the extensions of non-natural kind terms subject to the division of linguistic labor are determined. I illustrate these points by considering Sally Haslanger’s account of the division of linguistic labor for social kind terms and raising an objection to it. Then, I draw on Tyler Burge’s work to characterize a conception of the division of linguistic labor that avoids the mistaken overgeneralization and grounds 1–4 above in social norms and practices.


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Jeff Engelhardt
Dickinson College

Citations of this work

Resources, Rules, and Oppression.Jeff Engelhardt - 2019 - Hypatia 34 (4):619-643.
Conceptual Baggage and How to Unpack It.Emilia L. Wilson - 2024 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews

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References found in this work

Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Individualism and psychology.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.
Meaning and reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):699-711.

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