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The Cambridge School and Kripke: bug detecting with the history of political thought

Bosworth, William and Dowding, Keith (2019) The Cambridge School and Kripke: bug detecting with the history of political thought. Review of Politics, 81 (4). pp. 621-642. ISSN 0034-6705

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0034670519000512

Abstract

We propose a two-step method for studying the history of political thought roughly in line with the contextualism of the Cambridge School. It reframes the early Cambridge School as a bug-detecting program for the outdated conceptual baggage we unknowingly accommodate with our political terminology. Such accommodation often entails propositions that are inconsistent with even our most cherished political opinions. These bugs can cause political arguments to crash. This reframing takes seriously the importance of theories of meaning in the formative methodological arguments of the Cambridge School and updates the argument in light of new developments. We argue the new orthodoxy of Saul Kripke’s causal theory of meaning in the philosophy of language better demonstrates the importance of contextual analysis to modern political theory.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Government
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 10:42
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 00:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101801

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