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Summary (Under construction) Feminist philosophy of language is characterized by attention to the social context of language use. This generally takes two forms. First, feminist philosophers have critiqued language itself, arguing that that various human languages masquerade as gender neutral while in fact encoding a world view on which maleness is the norm and women are either invisible or represented as the other. Second, they have critiqued analytic philosophy of language as itself displaying a male bias, and in particular as being driven by an overly individualistic picture of language use. This is not to say that feminist philosophers of language are not interested in meaning, reference, and truth. Rather, many would argue that these central topics in mainstream analytic philosophy of language cannot be properly investigated without attention to the social context in which language operates. 
Key works (Under Construction) Language itself comes under fire in Moulton 1981 and Mercier 1995, which establish that terms like 'he' and 'man' do not have gender-neutral meanings and argue that treating them as gender-neutral, like use of gender-specific profession terms such as 'seamstress' or 'lady doctor' contribute to a general sense that maleness is the norm. Frye 1983 notes that the required sex-marking found in English and many other languages serves to make sex relevant where it need not be. Penelope 1990 and Spender 1985 go further, maintaining that the problem is not a particular collection of words, arguing instead that English quite generally encodes a male worldview, subordinates and renders invisible women, and takes males as the norm. Traditional analytic philosophy of language is charged with excessive individualism by Hintikka & Hintikka 1983 and Hornsby 2000, and Nye 1990 argues that philosophers of language have to their detriment not paid sufficient attention to either the political dimensions of language use or to actual failures of communication, preferring to concentrate on purely abstract problems of radical translation or reference across different worlds. Traditional speech act theory however has been put to use by a number of feminists: Langton & Hornsby 1998 use it to explicate Catherine MacKinnon's claim that pornography silences and subordinates women; Kukla 2014 develops a speech-act theoretic concept of discursive injustice and  
Introductions Hornsby 2000 Saul 2008 
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  1. Hideko Nornes Abe (forthcoming). From Stereotype to Context: The Study of Japanese Women's Speech. Feminist Studies.
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  2. Victoria Barker (1997). Definition and the Question of "Woman". Hypatia 12 (2):185 - 215.
    Within recent feminist philosophy, controversy has developed over the desirability, and indeed, the possibility of defining the central terms of its analysis-"woman," "femininity," etc. The controversy results largely from the undertheorization of the notion of definition; feminists have uncritically adopted an Aristotelian treatment of definition as entailing metaphysical, rather than merely linguistic, commitments. A "discursive" approach to definition, by contrast, allows us to define our terms, while avoiding the dangers of essentialism and universalism.
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  3. Nancy Bauer (2006). How to Do Things With Pornography. In Sanford Shieh & Alice Crary (eds.), Reading Cavell.
  4. Linda Bell, The Problem of Speaking For Others.
    Consider the following true stories: 1. Anne Cameron, a very gifted white Canadian author, writes several first person accounts of the lives of Native Canadian women. At the 1988 International Feminist Book Fair in Montreal, a group of Native Canadian writers ask Cameron to, in their words, "move over" on the grounds that her writings are disempowering for Native authors. She agrees. 2 2. After the 1989 elections in Panama are overturned by Manuel Noriega, U.S. President George Bush declares in (...)
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  5. Lisa A. Bergin (2002). Testimony, Epistemic Difference, and Privilege: How Feminist Epistemology Can Improve Our Understanding of the Communication of Knowledge. Social Epistemology 16 (3):197 – 213.
  6. Claudia Bianchi (2008). Indexicals, Speech Acts and Pornography. Analysis 68 (300):310-316.
    In the last twenty years, recorded messages and written notes have become a significant test and an intriguing puzzle for the semantics of indexical expressions (see Smith 1989, Predelli 1996, 1998a,1998b, 2002, Corazza et al. 2002, Romdenh-Romluc 2002). In particular, the intention-based approach proposed by Stefano Predelli has proven to bear interesting relations to several major questions in philosophy of language. In a recent paper (Saul 2006), Jennifer Saul draws on the literature on indexicals and recorded messages in order to (...)
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  7. Alexander Bird (2002). Illocutionary Silencing. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (1):1–15.
    Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby have argued that pornography might create a climate whereby a woman’s ability to refuse sex is literally silenced or removed. Their central argument is that a failure of ‘uptake’ of the woman’s intention means that the illocutionary speech act of refusal has not taken place. In this paper, I challenge the claims from the Austinian philosophy of language which feature in this argument. I argue that uptake is not in general required for illocution, nor is (...)
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  8. Berit Brogaard (2009). Color in the Theory of Colors? Or: Are Philosophers' Colors All White? In George Yancy (ed.), he Center Must Not Hold: White Women on The Whiteness of Philosophy.
    Let’s say that a philosophical theory is white just in case it treats the perspective of the white (perhaps Western male) as objective.1 The potential dangers of proposing or defending white theories are two-fold. First, if not all of reality is objective, a fact which I take to be established beyond doubt,2 then white theories could well turn out to be false.3 A white theory is unwarranted (and indeed false) when it treats nonobjective reality as objective. Second, by proposing or (...)
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  9. Sylvia Burrow (2008). Gendered Politeness, Self-Respect, and Autonomy. In Bernard Mulo Farenkia (ed.), In De la Politesse Linguistique au Cameroun / Linguistic Politeness in Cameroon. Peter Lang.
    Socialization enforces gendered standards of politeness that encourage men to be dominating and women to be deferential in mixed-gender discourse. This gendered dynamic of politeness places women in a double bind. If women are to participate in polite discourse with men, and thus to avail of smooth and fortuitous social interaction, women demote themselves to a lower social ranking. If women wish to rise above such ranking, then they fail to be polite and hence, open themselves to a wellspring of (...)
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  10. J. Butler (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. Routledge.
    SCHEMA If agency is not derived from the sovereignty of the speaker, then the force of the speech act is not sovereign force. The "force" of the speech act is, however incongruously, related to the body whose force is deflected and conveyed ...
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  11. Deborah Cameron (2010). Gender, Language, and the New Biologism. Constellations 17 (4):526-539.
  12. Claudia Card (2006). The L Word and the F Word. Hypatia 21 (2):223-229.
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  13. Daniel I. A. Cohen (1994). The Hate That Dare Not Speak its Name: Pornography Qua Semi-Political Speech. [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 13 (2):195 - 239.
    In this essay we shall examine the contemporary jurisprudential thinking and legal precedents surrounding the issue of the sanctionability of pornography. We shall catalogue them by their logical presumptions, such as whether they view pornography as speech or act, whether they view pornography as obscenity, political hate-speech or anomalous other, whether they would scrutinize legislation governing pornography by a balancing of the harm of repression against the harm of permission, and who exactly they view as the victims.We shall take a (...)
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  14. Karin Cope (1991). Plastic Actions: Linguistic Strategies and Le Corps Lesbien. Hypatia 6 (3):74 - 96.
    In both her fiction and her essays on writing and feminist theory, Monique Wittig takes up and redeploys traditional themes and genres as well as recent theories of language, literature, and writing in order to force change in and through the dominant categories of thought and language. She has announced her project as one which would "do away with the category of sex" by way of reconfiguring the grammatically and conceptually enforced compulsory heterosexual order. I examine the specific linguistic mechanisms (...)
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  15. Eros Corazza (2002). `She' and `He': Politically Correct Pronouns. Philosophical Studies 111 (2):173 - 196.
    It is argued that the pronouns `she' and `he' are disguised complexdemonstratives of the form `that female/male'. Three theories ofcomplex demonstratives are examined and shown to be committed to theview that `s/he' turns out to be an empty term when used to refer toa hermaphrodite. A fourth theory of complex demonstratives, one thatis hermaphrodite friendly, is proposed. It maintains that complexdemonstratives such as `that female/male' and the pronoun `s/he' can succeed in referring to someone independently of his or her gender.This (...)
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  16. Sharon Crasnow & Anita Superson (eds.) (2012). Out of the Shadows: Analytic Feminist Contributions to Traditional Philosophy. Oxford.
    light at the street level,1 bringing the streets out from the shadows. The effects of social progress are often even more significant than the effects of vertical progress, since social progress can be tradition-changing at various levels, bringing ...
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  17. Mary Daly (2006). Amazon Grace: Re-Calling the Courage to Sin Big. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In her signature style, revolutionary Mary Daly takes you on a Quantum leap into a joyous future of victory for women. Daly, the groundbreaking author of such classics as Beyond God the Father and The Church and the Second Sex , explores the visions of Matilda Joslyn Gage, the great nineteenth-century philosopher, and reveals that her insights are stunningly helpful to twenty-first-century Voyagers seeking to overcome the fascism and life-hating fundamentalism that has infused current power structures. Daly shows us once (...)
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  18. Mary Daly (1998). Quintessence-- Realizing the Archaic Future: A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto. Beacon Press.
  19. Alex Davies (2014). How to Silence Content with Porn, Context and Loaded Questions. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (1).
    Catharine MacKinnon claimed that pornography silence's women's speech where this speech is protected by free speech legislation. MacKinnon's claim was attacked as confused because, so it seemed, pornography is not the kind of thing that can silence speech. Using ideas drawn from John Austin's account of speech acts, Rae Langton defended MacKinnon's claim against this attack by showing how speech can, in principle, be silenced by pornography. However, Langton's defence requires us to deviate from a widely held understanding of what (...)
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  20. Maximilian De Gaynesford (2009). Illocutionary Acts, Subordination and Silencing. Analysis 69 (3):488-490.
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  21. Brian D. Earp (2012). The Extinction of Masculine Generics. Journal for Communication and Culture 2 (1):4-19.
    In English, as in many other languages, male-gendered pronouns are sometimes used to refer not only to men, but to individuals whose gender is unknown or unspecified, to human beings in general (as in ―mankind‖) and sometimes even to females (as when the casual ―Hey guys‖ is spoken to a group of women). These so-called he/man or masculine generics have come under fire in recent decades for being sexist, even archaic, and positively harmful to women and girls; and advocates of (...)
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  22. Elizabeth A. Flynn, Patricia J. Sotirin & Ann P. Brady (eds.) (2012). Feminist Rhetorical Resilience. Utah State University Press.
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  23. Anna Petronella Foultier (2013). Language and the Gendered Body: Butler's Early Reading of Merleau‐Ponty. Hypatia 28 (4):767-783.
    Through a close reading of Judith Butler's 1989 essay on Merleau-Ponty's “theory” of sexuality as well as the texts her argument hinges on, this paper addresses the debate about the relation between language and the living, gendered body as it is understood by defenders of poststructural theory on the one hand, and different interpretations of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology on the other. I claim that Butler, in her criticism of the French philosopher's analysis of the famous “Schneider case,” does not take its (...)
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  24. Marilyn Frye (1983). The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory. The Crossing Press.
  25. Ann Garry (2004). Book Review: Miranda Fricker and Jennifer Hornsby. The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2000. [REVIEW] Hypatia 19 (4):230-232.
  26. Angela Grünberg (2014). Saying and Doing: Speech Actions, Speech Acts and Related Events. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):173-199.
    The question which this paper examines is that of the correct scope of the claim that extra-linguistic factors (such as gender and social status) can block the proper workings of natural language. The claim that this is possible has been put forward under the apt label of silencing in the context of Austinian speech act theory. The ‘silencing’ label is apt insofar as when one's ability to exploit the inherent dynamic of language is ‘blocked’ by one's gender or social status (...)
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  27. Beatrice Hanssen (2000). Critique of Violence: Between Poststructuralism and Critical Theory. Routledge.
    Critique of Violence is a highly original and lucid investigation of the heated controversy between poststructuralism and critical theory. Leading theorist Beatrice Hanssen uses Walter Benjamin's essay 'Critique of Violence' as a guide to analyse the contentious debate, shifting the emphasis from struggle to dialogue between the two parties. Regarding the questions of critique and violence as the major meeting points between both traditions, Hanssen positions herself between the two in an effort to investigate what critical theory and poststructuralism have (...)
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  28. Sally Anne Haslanger (2005). What Are We Talking About? The Semantics and Politics of Social Kinds. Hypatia 20 (4):10-26.
    : Theorists analyzing the concepts of race and gender disagree over whether the terms refer to natural kinds, social kinds, or nothing at all. The question arises: what do we mean by the terms? It is usually assumed that ordinary intuitions of native speakers are definitive. However, I argue that contemporary semantic externalism can usefully combine with insights from Foucauldian genealogy to challenge mainstream methods of analysis and lend credibility to social constructionist projects.
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  29. Jane Hedley (1992). Surviving to Speak New Language: Mary Daly and Adrienne Rich. Hypatia 7 (2):40 - 62.
    As radical feminists seeking to overcome the linguistic oppression of women, Rich and Daly apparently shared the same agenda in the late 1970s; but they approached the problem differently, and their paths have increasingly diverged. Whereas Daly's approach to the repossession of language is code-oriented and totalizing, Rich's approach is open-ended and context-oriented. Rich has therefore addressed more successfully than Daly the problem of language in use.
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  30. Christina Hendricks & Kelly Oliver, Introduction : How to Do (Feminist) Things with Words.
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  31. Cressida J. Heyes (ed.) (2011). Philosophy and Gender. Routledge.
    How are ‘philosophy’ and ‘gender’ implicated? Throughout history, philosophers—mostly men, though with more women among their number than is sometimes supposed—have often sought to specify and justify the proper roles of women and men, and to explore the political consequences of sexual difference. The last forty years, however, have seen a dramatic explosion of critical thinking about how philosophy is a gendered discipline; there has also been an abundance of philosophical work that uses gender as a central analytic category. In (...)
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  32. Cressida J. Heyes (2000). Line Drawings: Defining Women Through Feminist Practice. Cornell University Press.
    This is a fresh and vitally important step past stymied debate on what is arguably the most pressing issue in cross-disciplinary feminist theory.
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  33. Merrill B. Hintikka & Jaakko Hintikka (1983). How Can Language Be Sexist? In Merrill B. Hintikka & Sandra Harding (eds.), Discovering Reality:Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Springer. 139-148.
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  34. Jennifer Hornsby (2000). Feminism in Philosophy of Language: Communicative Speech Acts. In Miranda Fricker & Jennifer Hornsby (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 87--106.
  35. Jennifer Hornsby (1988). Philosophers and Feminists on Language Use. Cogito 2 (3):13-16.
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  36. Luce Irigaray (2002). To Speak is Never Neutral. Routledge.
    Feminist philosopher, linguist, and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray is renowned for her analyses of language, studies that can be precise and poetic at the same time. In this volume of her work on language, linguistics, and psychoanalysis, she is concerned with developing a model that can reveal those unconscious or pre-conscious structures that determine speech. A key element of her method is the comparison of spoken and written language, through which she teases out the sexual and social configurations of speech.
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  37. Daniel Jacobson (1995). Freedom of Speech Acts? A Response to Langton. Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (1):64–78.
  38. Alison M. Jaggar & Iris Marion Young (eds.) (1998). A Companion to Feminist Philosophy. Blackwell.
  39. Gill Jagger (2008). Judith Butler: Sexual Politics, Social Change and the Power of the Performative. Routledge.
    Gender as performance and performative -- Body matters : from construction to materialization -- Performativity, subjection and the possibility of agency -- The politics of the performative : hate speech, pornography and "race" -- Beyond identity politics : gender, transgender and sexual difference.
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  40. Christine James (2009). Language and Emotional Knowledge: A Case Study on Ability and Disability in Williams Syndrome. Biosemiotics 2 (2):151-167.
    Williams Syndrome provides a striking test case for discourses on disability, because the characteristics associated with Williams Syndrome involve a combination of “abilities” and “disabilities”. For example, Williams Syndrome is associated with disabilities in mathematics and spatial cognition. However, Williams Syndrome individuals also tend to have a unique strength in their expressive language skills, and are socially outgoing and unselfconscious when meeting new people. Children with Williams are said to be typically unafraid of strangers and show a greater interest in (...)
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  41. Patricia C. Kelley (1996). Can Feminist Language Change Organizational Behavior? Some Research Questions. Business and Society 35 (1):84-88.
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  42. Rebecca Kukla (2014). Performative Force, Convention, and Discursive Injustice. Hypatia 29 (2):440-457.
    I explore how gender can shape the pragmatics of speech. In some circumstances, when a woman deploys standard discursive conventions in order to produce a speech act with a specific performative force, her utterance can turn out, in virtue of its uptake, to have a quite different force—a less empowering force—than it would have if performed by a man. When members of a disadvantaged group face a systematic inability to produce a specific kind of speech act that they are entitled (...)
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  43. Vivien Lane & Jocalyn Lawler (1997). Pap Smear Brochures, Misogyny and Language: A Discourse Analysis and Feminist Critique. Nursing Inquiry 4 (4):262-267.
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  44. Rae Langton & Jennifer Hornsby (1998). Free Spech and Illocution. Legal Theory 4 (1):21-37.
    We defend the view of some feminist writers that the notion of silencing has to be taken seriously in discussions of free speech. We assume that what ought to be meant by ‘speech’, in the context ‘free speech’, is whatever it is that a correct justification of the right to free speech justifies one in protecting. And we argue that what one ought to mean includes illocution, in the sense of J.L. Austin.
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  45. Michelle M. Lazar (ed.) (2005). Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power, and Ideology in Discourse. Palgrave Macmillan.
    This is the first collection to bring together well-known scholars writing from feminist perspectives within critical discourse analysis. The theoretical structure of CDA is illustrated with empirical research in Eastern and Western Europe, New Zealand, Asia, South America and the US, demonstrating the complex workings of power and ideology in discourse in sustaining particular gender(ed) orders. These studies deal with texts and talk in domains ranging from parliamentary settings, news and advertising media, the classroom, community literacy programs and the workplace.
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  46. Ishani Maitra (2009). Silencing Speech. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 309-338.
    Pornography deserves special protections, it is often said, because it qualifies as speech. Therefore, no matter what we think of its content, we must afford it the protections that we extend to most speech, but don’t extend to other actions.1 In response, Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton have argued that the case is not so simple: one of the harms of pornography, they claim, is that it silences women’s speech, thereby preventing women from deriving from speech the very benefits that (...)
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  47. Ishani Maitra (2004). Silence and Responsibility. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):189–208.
    In this paper, I shall be concerned with the phenomenon that has been labeled silencing in some of the recent philosophical literature. A speaker who is silenced in this sense is unable to make herself understood, even though her audience hears every word she utters. For instance, consider a woman who says “No”, intending to refuse sex. Her audience fails to recognize her intention to refuse, because he thinks that women tend to be insincere, and to not say what they (...)
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  48. Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (2010). On Silencing, Rape, and Responsibility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):167 – 172.
    In a recent article in this journal, Nellie Wieland argues that silencing in the sense put forward by Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby has the unpalatable consequence of diminishing a rapist's responsibility for the rape. We argue both that Wieland misidentifies Langton and Hornsby's conception of silencing, and that neither Langton and Hornsby's actual conception, nor the one that Wieland attributes to them, in fact generates this consequence.
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  49. Sally McConnell-Ginet (2010). Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics. Oxford University Press.
    Preface and acknowledgments -- Prelude -- 1. Gender, sexuality, and meaning: An overview -- Part I. Politics and scholarship: 2. Language and gender -- 3. Feminism in linguistics -- 4. Difference and language: A linguist's perspective -- Part II. Social practice, social meanings, and selves: 5. Communities of practice: Where language, gender, and power all live -- 6. Intonation in a man's world -- 7. Constructing meaning, constructing selves: Snapshots of language, gender, and class from Belten High -- Part III. (...)
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  50. Mary Kate Mcgowan (2014). Sincerity Silencing. Hypatia 29 (2):458-473.
    Catharine MacKinnon claims that pornography silences women in a way that violates the right to free speech. This claim is, of course, controversial, but if it is correct, then the very free speech reasons for protecting pornography appear also to afford reason to restrict it. For this reason, it has gained considerable attention. The philosophical literature thus far focuses on a type of silencing identified and analyzed by Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton (H&L). This article identifies, analyzes, and argues for (...)
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