№ 2, 2020
The role of language in political realism has been studied rather poorly. Moreover, in general researchers rarely pose such a question.
Although there has recently been a tendency to revise the prevailing stereotypes that reduce realism to naive materialistic ontology, primitive correspondent epistemology and ethical cynicism, there are still few works aimed at analyzing the linguistic dimension of realism. Moreover, even in those works where this issue is touched upon, no attempts are made to identify certain general trends of this direction in the theory of international relations. Meanwhile, without taking into account this dimension and its historical modifications, it is hardly possible to fully comprehend this centuries-old tradition of political thought.
To fill the gap, the authors turn to the analysis of the views of a num- ber of major theorists of the realist school — from Thucydides and T.Hobbes to classical realists, neo-realists and neoclassical realists. Their research shows that language plays a significant (although not always clearly defined) role in realism, and it can be considered not only as a political tool, but also as the foundation of a specific community’s worldview or as the footing of a scientific model. At the same time, the realist approach to language is not without its flaws that make it vulnerable to criticism. This is primarily about its inattention to the constructive relationships of linguo-political communities and the correlation between different scientific models or even the absolutization of their incommensurability. According to the authors, realism’s inherent focus on pluralism and conflicts has linguistic reasons as well.
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