David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Kelly Oliver & Christina Hendricks (eds.), Language and Liberation: Feminism, Philosophy and Language,. SUNY Press (1999)
Derogatory terms (racist, sexist, ethnic, and homophobic epithets) are bully words with ontological force: they serve to establish and maintain a corrupt social system fuelled by distinctions designed to justify relations of dominance and subordination. No wonder they have occasioned public outcry and legal response. The inferential role analysis developed here helps move us away from thinking of the harms as being located in connotation (representing mere speaker bias) or denotation (holding that the terms fail to refer due to inaccurate descriptive content). The issue is not bad attitudes or referential misfires. An inferential role semantic analysis of derogatory terms shows exactly what is at stake between those who argue that the terms should be eliminated (Absolutists) and those who claim they can be successfully rehabilitated (Reclaimers). The Reclaimer maintains, and the Absolutist denies, that certain contexts can detach the derogatory force from deeply derogatory terms. The article looks at these claims with respect to ‘nigger’ and ‘dyke,’ setting out the inferential role of each term and examining detachability potential. Explaining detachability in terms of linguistic commitments, this article also addresses the issue of whether such terms count as political discourse, and examines the implications of that issue.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Elisabeth Camp (2013). Slurring Perspectives. Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):330-349.
Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore (2013). What Did You Call Me? Slurs as Prohibited Words. Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):350-363.
Robin Jeshion (2013). Slurs and Stereotypes. Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):314-329.
Similar books and articles
Xavier Donato Rodríguedez & Jesús Zamora Bonilla (2009). Credibility, Idealisation, and Model Building: An Inferential Approach. Erkenntnis 70 (1).
Stefano Predelli (2009). From the Expressive to the Derogatory : On the Semantic Role for Non-Truth-Conditional Meaning. In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan.
John Roberts (2001). Introduction. Business Ethics Quarterly 11 (1):67-71.
Mark McCullagh (2005). Inferentialism and Singular Reference. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):183-220.
Ralph Wedgwood (2001). Conceptual Role Semantics for Moral Terms. Philosophical Review 110 (1):1-30.
Jaroslav Peregrin (2006). Meaning as an Inferential Role. Erkenntnis 64 (1):1-35.
Daniel Whiting (2007). Inferentialism, Representationalism and Derogatory Words. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (2):191 – 205.
Lynne Tirrell (2012). Genocidal Language Games. In Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (eds.), Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech. Oxford University Press. 174--221.
Lynne Tirrell (1999). Aesthetic Derogation: Hate Speech, Pornography, and Aesthetic Contexts,. In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2010-03-14
Total downloads107 ( #9,705 of 1,100,986 )
Recent downloads (6 months)43 ( #1,706 of 1,100,986 )
How can I increase my downloads?