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Document Details :
Title: Een lingua franca als voorwaarde voor mondiale rechtvaardigheid?
Subtitle: Over Philippe Van Parijs en taalkundige rechtvaardigheid
Author(s): DE BOM, Erik
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 76 Issue: 3 Date: 2014
In his recent book Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World, Philippe Van Parijs argues in favor of the dissemination of English as the lingua franca. This, however, might entail certain forms of injustice. In the first part of this contribution, the three forms of injustice that Van Parijs discusses are presented along with his three respective solutions to these problems. At the same time, some criticisms on each of these forms are mentioned which have come forth in recent literature. The second part of this paper examines the claim underlying Van Parijs’s book, viz. that it is a good thing to promote English as a common language. According to Van Parijs, this is necessary for developing an egalitarian conception of global justice as well as implementing such a conception. This article scrutinizes both of these arguments — which are only briefly touched on in the book. I argue that a lingua franca is not a necessary condition for developing and implementing such an egalitarian conception. I defend this position through a close study of Van Parijs’s conception of deliberative democracy, which is a very demanding one. I show that even in a system of deliberative democracy, a common language is not a necessary condition for developing an egalitarian conception of justice. With reference to the theory of constitutional patriotism, I then argue that common values, rather than a common language, are more important for developing and implementing such a conception.