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Profile: Lynne Tirrell (University of Massachusetts, Boston)
  1. Lynne Tirrell (forthcoming). “Transitional Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda: An Integrative Approach”. In Claudio Corradetti, Nir Eisikovits & Jack Rotondi (eds.), Theorizing Transitional Justice. Ashgate.
    An imperfect “politics of justice” seems to be inevitable in the aftermath of genocide. In Rwanda, this is especially true, given the scale of the atrocities, the breadth of participation, and the need to build a justice system from scratch while establishing security and restoring the rule of law. Official contexts for survivor testimony and corresponding perpetrator punishment are crucial for establishing shared norms and narratives, but these processes can destabilize social relations in important ways. Accordingly, without development, these justice (...)
     
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  2. Lynne Tirrell (2013). Apologizing for Atrocity: Rwanda and Recognition. In Alice MacLachlan & C. Allen Speight (eds.), Justice, Responsibility, and Reconciliation in the Wake of Conflict. Springer.
    Apology is a necessary component of moral repair of damage done by wrongs against the person. Analyzing the role of apology in the aftermath of atrocity, with a focus on the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, 1994, this article emphasizes the role of recognition failures in grave moral wrongs, the importance of speech acts that offer recognition, and building mutuality through recognition as a route to reconciliation. Understanding the US role in the international failure to stop the ’94 genocide (...)
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  3. Lynne Tirrell (2013). Studying Genocide: A Pragmatist Approach to Action-Engendering Discourse. In Graham Hubbs & Douglas Lind (eds.), Pragmatism, Law, and Language. Routledge.
    Drawing on my recent work using inferential role semantics and elements of speech act theory to analyze the role of derogatory terms (a.k.a. ‘hate speech’, or ‘slurs’) in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, as well as the role of certain kinds of reparative speech acts in post-genocide Rwanda, this paper highlights key pragmatist commitments that inform the methods and goals of this practical analysis of real world events. In “Genocidal Language Games”, I used conceptual tools from Wittgenstein, (...)
     
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  4. 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.
    This chapter examines the role played by derogatory terms (e.g., ‘inyenzi’ or cockroach, ‘inzoka’ or snake) in laying the social groundwork for the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994. The genocide was preceded by an increase in the use of anti-Tutsi derogatory terms among the Hutu. As these linguistic practices evolved, the terms became more openly and directly aimed at Tutsi. Then, during the 100 days of the genocide, derogatory terms and coded euphemisms were used to direct killers (...)
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  5. Alisa L. Carse & Lynne Tirrell (2010). Forgiving Grave Wrongs. In Christopher Allers & Marieke Smit (eds.), Forgiveness In Perspective. Rodopi Press.
    We introduce what we call the Emergent Model of forgiving, which is a process-based relational model conceptualizing forgiving as moral and normative repair in the wake of grave wrongs. In cases of grave wrongs, which shatter the victim’s life, the Classical Model of transactional forgiveness falls short of illuminating how genuine forgiveness can be achieved. In a climate of persistent threat and distrust, expressions of remorse, rituals and gestures of apology, and acts of reparation are unable to secure the moral (...)
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  6. Larry Blum, Jennifer Radden & Lynne Tirrell (2009). Janet Farrell Smith, 1941-2009. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 82 (5):205 - 207.
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  7. Todd Calder, Claudia Card, Ann Cudd, Eric Kraemer, Alice MacLachlan, Sarah Clark Miller, María Pía Lara, Robin May Schott, Laurence Thomas & Lynne Tirrell (2009). Evil, Political Violence, and Forgiveness: Essays in Honor of Claudia Card. Lexington Books.
    Rather than focusing on political and legal debates surrounding attempts to determine if and when genocidal rape has taken place in a particular setting, this essay turns instead to a crucial, yet neglected area of inquiry: the moral significance of genocidal rape, and more specifically, the nature of the harms that constitute the culpable wrongdoing that genocidal rape represents. In contrast to standard philosophical accounts, which tend to employ an individualistic framework, this essay offers a situated understanding of harm that (...)
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  8. Lynne Tirrell (2009). Epistemic Aspects of Evil: The Three Monkeys Meet The Atrocity Paradigm. In Andrea Veltman & Kathryn Norlock (eds.), Evil, Political Violence and Forgiveness: Essays in Honor of Claudia Card.
    This article explores the cognitive and epistemic dimensions of a harm-centered theory of evil, as set out in Card’s The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil. Examining testimony of both survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide helps to support, clarify, and extend Card’s view. Of particular concern are questions of recognizing evil as such, whether the demand to avoid evil sets too high a standard of control over oneself and one’s circumstances, and how to understand agency within evil (...)
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  9. 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.
    Derogatory terms (racist, sexist, ethnic epithets) have long played various roles and achieved diverse ends in works of art. Focusing on basic aspects of an aesthetic object or work, this article examines the interpretive relation between point of view and content, asking how aesthetic contextualization shapes the impact of such terms. Can context, particularly aesthetic contexts, detach the derogatory force from powerful epithets and racist and sexist images? What would it be about aesthetic contexts that would make this possible? The (...)
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  10. Lynne Tirrell (1999). Derogatory Terms: Racism, Sexism and the Inferential Role Theory of Meaning. In Kelly Oliver & Christina Hendricks (eds.), Language and Liberation: Feminism, Philosophy and Language,. SUNY Press.
    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 (...)
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  11. Lynne Tirrell (1999). Pornographic Subordination: How Pornography Silences Women. In Claudia F. Card (ed.), Feminist Ethics and Politics. University Press of Kansas.
    Making sense of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women requires attention to the discursive and interpretive frameworks that pornography establishes and promotes. Treating pornography as a form of hate speech is promising, but also limited. A close examination of a legal case, in which pornographic images were used to sexually harass, focuses on the hate speech analogy while illustrating the broad and lasting impact of such depictions when targeted at an individual. Applying the distinction between Absolutist and Reclaimer approaches to (...)
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  12. Lynne Tirrell (1997). Language and Power. In Alison M. Jaggar & Iris Marion Young (eds.), A Companion to Feminist Philosophy,. Blackwell.
    This article argues that the real promise of feminist philosophy of language is in its account of articulated normativity. Feminist philosophy of language began within a descriptivist framework, seeking to identify and root out sexist discursive practices, like naming practices that subsume women’s identity under men’s, descriptive practices that erase or undermine women’s accomplishments and presence as subjects, and so on. This approach had its limits, and led to increased attention to the discursive practices through which we articulate our experiences (...)
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  13. Lynne Tirrell (1994). Sexual Dualism and Women's Self-Creation: On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Reading Nietzsche for Feminists,&Quot;. In Peter Burgard (ed.), Nietzsche and the Feminine. University of Virginia Press.
    Although Nietzsche's writings clearly deliver an unhealthy dose of misogyny, it must be noticed that they also contain the seeds of a deconstruction of that misogyny. This paper exposes one set of deconstructing elements of Nietzsche's works with respect to his views on women. The wider philosophical context of Nietzsche's thought provides grounds for taking seriously several passages of The Gay Science that reveal a more sympathetic understanding of women, since these passages take seriously Nietzsche's anti-dualism, his perspectivism, and his (...)
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  14. John D. Sommer, Ed Casey, Mary C. Rawlinson, Eva Kittay, Michael A. Simon, Patrick Grim, Clyde Lee Miller, Rita Nolan, Marshall Spector, Don Ihde, Peter Williams, Anthony Weston, Donn Welton, Dick Howard, David A. Dilworth, Tom Foster Digby 3d, Anthony Appiah, David Auerbach, Annette Baier, Seyla Benhabib, Akeel Bilgrami, Richard Boyd, Robert Brandon, Joshua Cohen, Arnold Davidson, Owen Flanagan, Nancy Fraser, Marcia Lind, Alexander Nehamas, Linda Nicholson, Adrian Piper, Lynne Tirrell, Lawrence Blum, Lawrence Foster, Roma Farion, Mitchel Silver, Jenifer Radden, Jack Bayne, Robert K. Shope, Jane Roland Martin, Arthur B. Millman, Beebe Nelson, Robert Rosenfeld, Janet Farrell-Smith, David E. Flesche, Daniel E. Anderson, J. R. Brown, F. Cunningham, D. Goldstick, I. Hacking, C. Normore, A. Ripstein, W. Sumner, Alison M. Jaggar, Harry Deutsch, Irving Stein, John Hund, George Englebretsen, Fred Strohm, D. L. Ouren, P. Bilimoria, F. B. D. & Nora Nevin (1993). Letters to the Editor. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 66 (5):97 - 112.
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  15. Lynne Tirrell (1993). Definition and Power: Toward Authority Without Privilege. Hypatia 8 (4):1-34.
    Feminists have urged women to take semantic authority. This article explains what such authority is, how it depends upon community recognition, and how it differs from privilege and from authority as usually conceived under patriarchy. Understanding its natures and limits is an important part of attaining it. Understanding the role of community explains why separatism is the logical conclusion of this project, and why separatism is valuable even to those who do not separate.
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  16. Arthur S. Ripstein & Lynne Tirrell (1992). Douglas Joel Butler 1957-1991. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 65 (5):79 - 80.
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  17. Lynne Tirrell (1991). Seeing Metaphor as Seeing-As: Remarks on Davidson's Positive View of Metaphor. Philosophical Investigations 14 (2):143-154.
  18. Lynne Tirrell (1991). Reductive and Nonreductive Simile Theories of Metaphor. Journal of Philosophy 88 (7):337-358.
    Metaphor is commonly taken to be an elliptical simile. This article offers a rational reconstruction of two types of simile theories of metaphor: reductive and non-reductive. Careful analysis shows the differences between these theories, but in the end, neither does the explanatory work it sets out to do. In assimilating metaphor to simile and simile to literal comparison, the reductive simile theory obscures what is most important to an account of metaphor: an account of what it is to interpret a (...)
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  19. Lynne Tirrell (1991). Seeing Metaphor as Seeing-As: Davidson's Positive View of Metaphor. Philosophical Investigations 14 (2):143-154.
    Davidson suggests that metaphor is a pragmatic (not a semantic) phenomenon; it prompts its audience to see one thing as another. Davidson rightly attacks speaker-intentionalism as the source of metaphorical meaning, but settles for an account that depends on audience intentions. A better approach would undermine intentionalism per se, replacing it with a social practice analysis based on patterns of extending the metaphor. This paper shows why Davidson’s perceptual model fails to stave off semantic analysis, and argues that the professed (...)
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  20. Lynne Tirrell (1990). Storytelling and Moral Agency. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 48 (2):115-126.
    The capacity for telling stories is necessary for being moral agents. The minimal necessary features for moral agency involve the capacities necessary for articulation, and articulation is a key part of what we learn and practice through telling stories. Developing the interdependence between agency and articulation, this article offers an account of both categorical moral agency and a degree-of-sophistication account of agency. Central to these are three factors: a moral agent has (1) the capacity to represent, (2) a sense of (...)
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  21. Lynne Tirrell (1989). Extending: The Structure of Metaphor. Noûs 23 (1):17-34.
    This article shows how attention to extended metaphors provides the basis for a substantive account of what it is to understand a metaphor. Offering an analysis of extended metaphors modeled on an analysis of co-referential anaphoric chains, this article presents an account of how contexts makes metaphors. The analysis introduces the concept of expressive commitment, commitment to the viability and value of particular modes of discourse. Unlike literal interpretation, metaphorical interpretation puts the expressive commitment in the forefront of the interpretive (...)
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