„language is never neutral“

Paulo Freire photo
Paulo Freire71
filósofo e educador brasileiro 1921 - 1997

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„Some people half consciously use the word "true" as meaning useful as well as true. Of course language can never be made absolutely neutral and colourless; but unless its ambiguities are understood, accuracy of thought is impossible, and the injury done is proportionate to the logical force and general vigour of character of those who are misled.“

—  James Fitzjames Stephen Indian judge 1829 - 1894

Fonte: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873-1874), Ch. 4
Contexto: Men have an all but incurable propensity to try to prejudge all the great questions which interest them by stamping their prejudices upon their language. Law, in many cases, means not only a command, but a beneficent command. Liberty means not the bare absence of restraint, but the absence of injurious restraint. Justice means not mere impartiality in applying general rules to particular cases, but impartiality in applying beneficent general rules to particular cases. Some people half consciously use the word "true" as meaning useful as well as true. Of course language can never be made absolutely neutral and colourless; but unless its ambiguities are understood, accuracy of thought is impossible, and the injury done is proportionate to the logical force and general vigour of character of those who are misled.

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„The symbolism of meat-eating is never neutral. To himself, the meat-eater seems to be eating life. To the vegetarian, he seems to be eating death.“

—  Mary Midgley British philosopher and ethicist 1919 - 2018

Animals and Why They Matter https://books.google.it/books?id=uE7lNzbN7wEC&pg=PA0 (1983), ch. 2, 4.
Contexto: The symbolism of meat-eating is never neutral. To himself, the meat-eater seems to be eating life. To the vegetarian, he seems to be eating death. There is a kind of gestalt-shift between the two positions which makes it hard to change, and hard to raise questions on the matter at all without becoming embattled.

Roland Barthes photo

„… language is never innocent.“

—  Roland Barthes French philosopher, critic and literary theorist 1915 - 1980

Elie Wiesel photo
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„The various languages placed side by side show that with words it is never a question of truth, never a question of adequate expression; otherwise, there would not be so many languages.“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900

On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)
Contexto: The various languages placed side by side show that with words it is never a question of truth, never a question of adequate expression; otherwise, there would not be so many languages. The "thing in itself" (which is precisely what the pure truth, apart from any of its consequences, would be) is likewise something quite incomprehensible to the creator of language and something not in the least worth striving for. This creator only designates the relations of things to men, and for expressing these relations he lays hold of the boldest metaphors.' To begin with, a nerve stimulus is transferred into an image: first metaphor. The image, in turn, is imitated in a sound: second metaphor. And each time there is a complete overleaping of one sphere, right into the middle of an entirely new and different one.

Eleftherios Venizelos photo

„Neutrality is not politics.“

—  Eleftherios Venizelos Greek politician 1864 - 1936

Eleftherios Venizelos in:. Histoire diplomatique de la Grèce de 1821 à nos jours. tome V, Edouard Driault et Michel Lheritier, éd. PUF, 1926, p. 164; Venizelos about the decision of Consantine I to keep Greece neutral during WWI

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„You never learn a language unless you use it.“

—  Mary McCarthy, livro Cannibals and Missionaries

Fonte: Cannibals and Missionaries (1979), Ch. 11

Desmond Tutu photo

„If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.“

—  Desmond Tutu South African churchman, politician, archbishop, Nobel Prize winner 1931

As quoted in Unexpected News : Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes (1984) by Robert McAfee Brown, p. 19

„As you [Tono] has written, people say that my works are 'neutral'. But if you paint something, it is 'something', and it cannot be neutral. Being neutral is a mere expression of a form of intention.“

—  Jasper Johns American artist 1930

Quote from: Jasper Johns in Tokyo, Yoshiaki Tono, Tokyo August 1964, as cited in Jasper Johns, Writings, sketchbook Notes, Interviews, ed. Kirk Varnedoe, Moma New York, 1996, p. 101
1960s

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„The cold neutrality of an impartial judge.“

—  Edmund Burke Anglo-Irish statesman 1729 - 1797

Preface to Brissot's Address (1794)
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„My standpoint is armed neutrality.“

—  Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855

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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“