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Summary 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 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.
Introductions Hornsby 2000 Saul 2008 
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303 found
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  1. Does Pornography Presuppose Rape Myths?Richard Kimberly Heck - manuscript
    Rae Langton and Caroline West have argued that pornography silences women by presupposing misogynistic attitudes, such as that women enjoy being raped. More precisely, they claim that a somewhat infamous pictorial, “Dirty Pool”, makes such presuppositions. I argue for four claims. (i) Langton and West's account of how pornography silences women is empirically dubious. (ii) There is no evidence that very much pornography makes the sorts of presuppositions they require. (iii) Even "Dirty Pool", for all its other problems, does not (...)
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  2. Who This Woman Is? Part III ही स्त्री कोण ? भाग तिसरा.Shriniwas Hemade श्रीनिवास हेमाडे - June-July 2012 - Aajacha Sudharak आजचा सुधारक (05):95-105.
    In Search of Womanhood by way of etymology.
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  3. How Much Gender is Too Much Gender?Robin Dembroff & Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - In Justin Khoo & Rachel Katharine Sterken (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    We live in a world saturated in both racial and gendered divisions. Our focus is on one place where attitudes about these divisions diverge: language. We suspect most everyone would be horrified at the idea of adding race-specific pronouns, honorifics, generic terms, and so on to English. And yet gender-specific terms of the same sort are widely accepted and endorsed. We think this asymmetry cannot withstand scrutiny. We provide three considerations against incorporating additional race-specific terms into English, and argue that (...)
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  4. 'Extremely Racist' and 'Incredibly Sexist': An Empirical Response to the Charge of Conceptual Inflation.Shen-yi Liao & Nat Hansen - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Critics across the political spectrum have worried that ordinary uses of words like 'racist', 'sexist', and 'homophobic' are becoming conceptually inflated, meaning that these expressions are getting used so widely that they lose their nuance and, thereby, their moral force. However, the charge of conceptual inflation, as well as responses to it, are standardly made without any systematic investigation of how 'racist' and other expressions condemning oppression are actually used in ordinary language. Once we examine large linguistic corpora to see (...)
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  5. A Dilemma Regarding Gendered Pronouns.Jill Malry - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-5.
    My goal in this short paper is to introduce a dilemma regarding the pronouns ‘ she ’, ‘ he ’, and their various declensions. This dilemma arises from the practice, common in the English speaking world and especially the USA, of letting people choose their own pronouns. And as will become apparent at the end of this paper, I want to suggest that this dilemma might be unique to the English language.
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  6. Discursive Injustice and the Speech of Indigenous Communities.Leo Townsend - forthcoming - In Leo Townsend, Preston Stovall & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), The Social Institution of Discursive Norms. New York: pp. 248-263.
    Recent feminist philosophy of language has highlighted the ways that the speech of women can be unjustly impeded, because of the way their gender affects the uptake their speech receives. In this chapter, I explore how similar processes can undermine the speech of a different sort of speaker: Indigenous communities. This involves focusing on Indigeneity rather than gender as the salient social identity, and looking at the ways that group speech, rather than only individual speech, can be unjustly impeded. To (...)
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  7. Cat‐Calls, Compliments and Coercion.Lucy McDonald - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (1):208-230.
    In this paper, I offer a novel argument for why cat-calling is wrong. After warding off the objection that cat-calls are compliments and therefore morally benign, I show that it cannot be the semantic content of cat-calls which makes cat-calling wrong, because some cat-calls have seemingly benign content yet seem to wrong their targets (usually women and LGBTQ people) nonetheless. Instead, cat-calling is wrong because it silences targets, by preventing them from blocking cat-callers’ presuppositions of authority, and exploits them, by (...)
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  8. A Comprehensive Definition of Illocutionary Silencing.Laura Caponetto - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):191-202.
    A recurring concern within contemporary philosophy of language has been with the ways in which speakers can be illocutionarily silenced, i.e. hindered in their capacity to do things with words. Moving beyond the traditional conception of silencing as uptake failure, Mary Kate McGowan has recently claimed that silencing may also involve other forms of recognition failure. In this paper I first offer a supportive elaboration of McGowan’s claims by developing a social account of speech act performance, according to which the (...)
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  9. Girl Talk: Understanding Negative Reactions to Female Vocal Fry.Monika Chao & Julia R. S. Bursten - 2021 - Hypatia 36 (1):42-59.
    Vocal fry is a phonation, or voicing, in which an individual drops their voice below its natural register and consequently emits a low, growly, creaky tone of voice. Media outlets have widely acknowledged it as a generational vocal style characteristic of millennial women. Critics of vocal fry often claim that it is an exclusively female vocal pattern, and some say that the voicing is so distracting that they cannot understand what is being said under the phonation. Claiming that a phonation (...)
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  10. Contextualism and the Semantics of "Woman".Hsiang-Yun Chen - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 20 (8).
    Contextualist accounts of “woman,” including Saul (2012), Diaz-Leon (2016), and Ichikawa (2020), aim to capture the variability of the meaning of the term, and do justice to the rights of trans women. I argue that (i) there is an internal tension between a contextualist stance and the commitment to trans-inclusive language, and that (ii) we should recognize and tackle the broader and deeper theoretical and practical difficulties implicit in the semantic debates, rather than collapsing them all into semantics. Moving on, (...)
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  11. Pornography and Speech Act Theory – An In-Depth Survey.Áron Dombrovszki - 2021 - Elpis 14 (1):9-26.
    Considering the short history of the feminist philosophy of language, Rae Langton’s article “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts” was highly influential as one of the first positive research programs in the movement. In that paper, Langton – using John L. Austin’s speech act theory – tries to interpret Catharine MacKinnon’s thesis: pornography is a speech that subordinates and silences women. Despite the importance of the subject, those unfamiliar with certain historical and contextual features of the topic would hardly understand it. (...)
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  12. Slurs, Neutral Counterparts, and What You Could Have Said.Arianna Falbo - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):359-375.
    Analytic Philosophy, Volume 62, Issue 4, Page 359-375, December 2021.
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  13. Pornography and Accommodation.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):830-860.
    ABSTRACT In ‘Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game’, Rae Langton and Caroline West borrow ideas from David Lewis to attempt to explain how pornography might subordinate and silence women. Pornography is supposed to express certain misogynistic claims implicitly, through presupposition, and to convey them indirectly, through accommodation. I argue that the appeal to accommodation cannot do the sort of work Langton and West want it to do: Their case rests upon an overly simplified model of that phenomenon. I argue further (...)
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  14. “Don’t Let Your Mouth”: On Argumentative Smothering Within Academia.Tempest M. Henning - 2021 - Topoi 40 (5):913-924.
    Despite non/minimal adversarial feminist argumentation models heavily critiquing rude, hostile, uncooperative argumentative practices, I argue that these models slip easily into instances of ‘white talk’ when white individuals are engaged with BIPOC on matters concerning racial injustices. While these models address overt aggression, a more nuanced modification is needed for the models to handle cases of white passive aggressive argumentative tactics. Moreover, I also argue that given the language and argumentative ideology within academia, ‘white talk’ cannot be addressed by BIPOC (...)
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  15. Generics as Instructions.Samia Hesni - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12587-12602.
    Generic claims like ‘women stay home and raise children’ and ‘boys don’t cry’ are normative generics: generic claims that express a norm. The truth conditions of normative generics are even harder to account for than those for more descriptive generics like ‘ducks lay eggs.’ Until recently, such generics were treated as deviant and thus not accounted for in standard accounts of generics. But recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of normative generics has changed that. In light of this recent (...)
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  16. Normative Generics: Against Semantic Polysemy.Samia Hesni - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):218-225.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, Volume 10, Issue 3, Page 218-225, September 2021.
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  17. Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language.Justin Khoo & Rachel Sterken (eds.) - 2021 - Routledge.
    Part 1. Social and political language: methodological and foundational Issues 1. Conceptual engineering in philosophy (Matti Eklund) 2. Social ontology (Mari Mikkola) 3. An invitation to social and political metasemantics (Derek Ball) 4. Linguistic prescriptivism (Alex Barber) 5. Speech acts (Rachel McKinney and Dan Harris) 6. On the Uselessness of the Distinction between Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory (at least in the Philosophy of Language) (Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever) Part 2. Non-ideal semantics and pragmatics 7. Lying, Deception, and Epistemic Advantage (...)
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  18. Semantic Contestations and the Meaning of Politically Significant Terms.Deborah Mühlebach - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):788-817.
    In recent discussions on the meaning of derogatory terms, most theorists base their investigations on the assumption that slurring terms could in principle have some neutral, i.e. purely descriptive, counterpart. Lauren Ashwell has recently shown that this assumption does not generalize to gendered slurs. This paper aims to challenge the point and benefit of approaching the meaning of derogatory terms in contrast to their allegedly purely descriptive counterparts. I argue that different discursive practices among different communities of practice sometimes change (...)
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  19. Not All Speakers Are Equal: Harm and Conversational Standing.Claudia Picazo - 2021 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 1 (84).
    McGowan has provided a linguistic mechanism that explains how speech can constitute harm. Her idea is that utterances routinely enact s-norms about what is permissible in a given context. My aim is to argue that these s-norms are sensitive to the conversational standing of the speaker. In particular, I claim that the strength of the norm enacted depends on the standing of the speaker. In some cases, the speaker might even lack the standing required to enact new s-norms.
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  20. Language and Legitimation.Robert Mark Simpson - 2021 - In Justin Khoo & Rachel Katharine Sterken (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    The verb to legitimate is often used in political discourse in a way that is prima facie perplexing. To wit, it is often said that an actor legitimates a practice which is officially prohibited in the relevant context – for example, that a worker telling sexist jokes legitimates sex discrimination in the workplace. In order to clarify the meaning of statements like this, and show how they can sometimes be true and informative, we need an explanation of how something that (...)
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  21. Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.Ásta Sveinsdóttir & Kim Q. Hall (eds.) - 2021
    This exciting new Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the contemporary state of the field in feminist philosophy. The editors' introduction and forty-five essays cover feminist critical engagements with philosophy and adjacent scholarly fields, as well as feminist approaches to current debates and crises across the world. Authors cover topics ranging from the ways in which feminist philosophy attends to other systems of oppression, and the gendered, racialized, and classed assumptions embedded in philosophical concepts, to feminist perspectives on prominent subfields (...)
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  22. The Critique of Gender Linguistics From the Perspective of Feminist Linguistics.L. A. Ulianitckaia - 2021 - Дискурс 7 (2):135-155.
    Introduction. The paper reviews features and main problems of feminist linguistics. The novelty of the study is an unparalleled take on feminist linguistics in contradistinction to gender linguistics; the identification of their fundamental differences as well as emphasizing arguments in favour of both scholarly importance and practical value of feminist linguistic studies. The relevance of the study is conditioned by the lack of academic papers concerning the subject; the growing interest in studying the language as an anthropocentric sociocultural phenomenon; and (...)
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  23. We’Ve Come a Long Way, Guys! Rhetorics of Resistance to the Feminist Critique of Sexist Language.Kalah B. Wilson, Martha Copp & Sherryl Kleinman - 2021 - Gender and Society 35 (1):61-84.
    We provide a qualitative analysis of resistance to calls for gender-neutral language. We analyzed more than 900 comments responding to two essays—one on AlterNet and another on Vox posted to the Vox editor’s Facebook page—that critiqued a pervasive male-based generic, “you guys.” Five rhetorics of resistance are discussed: appeals to origins, appeals to linguistic authority, appeals to aesthetics, appeals to intentionality and inclusivity, and appeals to women and feminist authorities. These rhetorics justified “you guys” as a nonsexist term, thereby allowing (...)
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  24. Linguistic Hijacking.Derek Anderson - 2020 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (3).
    This paper introduces the concept of linguistic hijacking, the phenomenon wherein politically significant terminology is co-opted by dominant groups in ways that further their dominance over marginalized groups. Here I focus on hijackings of the words “racist” and “racism.” The model of linguistic hijacking developed here, called the semantic corruption model, is inspired by Burge’s social externalism, in which deference plays a key role in determining the semantic properties of expressions. The model describes networks of deference relations, which support competing (...)
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  25. Metasemantic Ethics.Derek Ball - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):206-219.
    The idea that experts (especially scientific experts) play a privileged role in determining the meanings of our words and the contents of our concepts has become commonplace since the work of Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others in the 1970s. But if experts have the power to determine what our words mean, they can do so responsibly or irresponsibly, from good motivations or bad, justly or unjustly, with good or bad effects. This paper distinguishes three families of metasemantic views based (...)
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  26. The Knowledge Norm of Assertion in Dialectical Context.Endre Begby - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):295-306.
    This paper aims to show that the Knowledge Norm of Assertion (KNA) leads to trouble in certain dialectical contexts. Suppose a person knows that p but does not know that she knows that p. She asserts p in compliance with the KNA. Her interlocutor responds: “but do you know that p?” It will be shown that the KNA blocks the original asserter from providing any good response to this perfectly natural follow-up question, effectively forcing her to retract p from the (...)
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  27. Pejorative Terms and the Semantic Strategy.E. Diaz-Leon - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (1):23-34.
    Christopher Hom has recently argued that the best-overall account of the meaning of pejorative terms is a semantic account according to which pejoratives make a distinctive truth-conditional contribution, and in particular express complex, negative socially constructed properties. In addition, Hom supplements the semantic account with a pragmatic strategy to deal with the derogatory content of occurrences of pejorative terms in negations, conditionals, attitude reports, and so on, according to which those occurrences give rise to conversational implicatures to the effect that (...)
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  28. Towards a Feminist Logic: Val Plumwood’s Legacy and Beyond.Maureen Eckert & Charlie Donahue - 2020 - In Dominic Hyde (ed.), Noneist Explorations II: The Sylvan Jungle - Volume 3 (Synthese Library, 432). Dordrecht: pp. 424-448.
    Val Plumwood’s 1993 paper, “The politics of reason: towards a feminist logic” (hence- forth POR) attempted to set the stage for what she hoped would begin serious feminist exploration into formal logic – not merely its historical abuses, but, more importantly, its potential uses. This work offers us: (1) a case for there being feminist logic; and (2) a sketch of what it should resemble. The former goal of Plumwood’s paper encourages feminist theorists to reject anti-logic feminist views. The paper’s (...)
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  29. Language, Alienation, and World-Disclosure.Magnus Ferguson - 2020 - Research in Phenomenology 50 (2):283-289.
  30. Think Like a Feminist: The Philosophy Behind the Revolution.Carol Hay - 2020 - New York, NY, USA: W.W. Norton & Co..
  31. Presupposition and Consent.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2020 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (4):Article 4.
    I argue that “consent” language presupposes that the contemplated action is or would be at someone else’s behest. When one does something for another reason—for example, when one elects independently to do something, or when one accepts an invitation to do something—it is linguistically inappropriate to describe the actor as “consenting” to it; but it is also inappropriate to describe them as “not consenting” to it. A consequence of this idea is that “consent” is poorly suited to play its canonical (...)
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  32. Mansplaining and Illocutionary Force.Casey Rebecca Johnson - 2020 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (4).
    In this paper I describe three kinds of mansplaining, “well, actually” mansplaining, straw-mansplaining, and speech act–confusion mansplaining. While these three kinds have much in common, I focus on speech act–confusion mansplaining and offer a speech act theoretic account of what goes wrong when people mansplain in this way. In cases of speech act–confusion mansplaining, the target of the mansplaining is not able to do what she wants with her words. Her conversational contribution is taken to have a different force than (...)
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  33. Race, Gender, and the History of Early Analytic Philosophy.Matt LaVine - 2020 - Lexington Books.
    Matt LaVine argues that there is more potential in bringing the history of early analytic philosophy and critical theories of race and gender together than has been traditionally recognized. In particular, he explores the changes associated with a shift from revolutionary aspects of early analytic philosophy.
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  34. Escalating Linguistic Violence: From Microaggressions to Hate Speech.Emma McClure - 2020 - In Lauren Freeman & Jeanine Weekes Schroer (eds.), Microaggressions and Philosophy. New York: Routeledge. pp. 121-145.
    At first glance, hate speech and microaggressions seem to have little overlap beyond being communicated verbally or in written form. Hate speech seems clearly macro-aggressive: an intentional, obviously harmful act lacking the ambiguity (and plausible deniability) of microaggressions. If we look back at historical discussions of hate speech, however, many of these assumed differences turn out to be points of similarity. The harmfulness of hate speech only became widely acknowledged after a concerted effort by critical race theorists, feminists, and other (...)
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  35. Your Word Against Mine: The Power of Uptake.Lucy McDonald - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3505-3526.
    Uptake is typically understood as the hearer’s recognition of the speaker’s communicative intention. According to one theory of uptake, the hearer’s role is merely as a ratifier. The speaker, by expressing a particular communicative intention, predetermines what kind of illocutionary act she might perform. Her hearer can then render this act a success or a failure. Thus the hearer has no power over which act could be performed, but she does have some power over whether it is performed. Call this (...)
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  36. Pornography and Dehumanization: The Essentialist Dimension.Eleonore Neufeld - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):703-717.
    The objective of this paper is to show that pornography dehumanizes women through essentialization. First, I argue that certain acts of subject-essentialization are acts of subject-dehumanization. Second, I demonstrate, by reviewing evidence about the linguistic material that we find in and around pornography, that pornography systematically deploys content that essentializes women in the ways identified as problematic. It follows that pornography dehumanizes women.
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  37. Language Loss and Illocutionary Silencing.Ethan Nowak - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):831-865.
    The twenty-first century will witness an unprecedented decline in the diversity of the world’s languages. While most philosophers will likely agree that this decline is lamentable, the question of what exactly is lost with a language has not been systematically explored in the philosophical literature. In this paper, I address this lacuna by arguing that language loss constitutes a problematic form of illocutionary silencing. When a language disappears, past and present speakers lose the ability to realize a range of speech (...)
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  38. Group Assertion and Group Silencing.Leo Townsend - 2020 - Language & Communication 1 (70):28-37.
    Jennifer Lackey (2018) has developed an account of the primary form of group assertion, according to which groups assert when a suitably authorized spokesperson speaks for the group. In this paper I pose a challenge for Lackey's account, arguing that her account obscures the phenomenon of group silencing. This is because, in contrast to alternative approaches that view assertions (and speech acts generally) as social acts, Lackey's account implies that speakers can successfully assert regardless of how their utterances are taken (...)
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  39. Consultation, Consent, and the Silencing of Indigenous Communities.Leo Townsend & Dina Lupin Townsend - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (5):781-798.
    Over the past few decades, Indigenous communities have successfully campaigned for greater inclusion in decision-making processes that directly affect their lands and livelihoods. As a result, two important participatory rights for Indigenous peoples have now been widely recognized: the right to consultation and the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Although these participatory rights are meant to empower the speech of these communities—to give them a proper say in the decisions that most affect them—we argue that the way (...)
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  40. Philosophy by Women 22 Philosophers Reflect on Philosophy and Its Value.Elly Vintiadis (ed.) - 2020 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    What is philosophy, why does it matter, and how would it be different if women wrote more of it? At a time when the importance of philosophy, and the humanities in general, is being questioned and at a time when the question of gender equality is a huge public question, 22 women in philosophy lay out in this book how they think of philosophy, what they actually do, and how that is applied to actual problems. By bringing together accounts of (...)
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  41. Gender in Translation: Beyond Monolingualism.Judith Butler - 2019 - philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 9 (1):1-25.
    Anglophone theoretical reflections on gender often assume the generalizability of their claims without first asking whether “gender” as a term exists, or exists in the same way, in other languages. Some of the resistance to the entry of “gender” as a term into non-Anglophone contexts emerges from a resistance to English or, indeed, from within the syntax of a language in which questions of gender are settled through verb inflections or implied reference. A larger form of resistance, of course, has (...)
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  42. Meta-Semantic Moral Encroachment: Some Experimental Evidence.Alex Davies, Lauris Kaplinski & Maarja Lepamets - 2019 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 12:7-33.
    This paper presents experimental evidence in support of the existence of metalinguistic moral encroachment: the influence of the moral consequences of using a word with a given content upon the content of that word. The evidence collected implies that the effect of moral factors upon content is weak. For instance, by changing the moral consequences of the sentence's truth, it was possible to shift judgements about the truth of the sentence "that's a lot of cake", when used to describe two (...)
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  43. Ideal DoLLs as Ideology.Jeff Engelhardt - 2019 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 12:44-63.
    This paper argues that many philosophical theories of meaning idealize our actual language communities and thereby contribute to perpetuating group-based oppression. I focus on externalist theories of language that posit a division of linguistic labor (DoLL), and I argue that the DoLLs they imagine are free of oppression and untouched by its effects. This distorts both basic theoretical assumptions and our ideas about which meanings are to be found in some language community. By thus obscuring oppression and its effects, we (...)
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  44. Linguistic Labor and its Division.Jeff Engelhardt - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1855-1871.
    This paper exposes a common mistake concerning the division of linguistic labor. I characterize the mistake as an overgeneralization from natural kind terms; this misleads philosophers about which terms are subject to the division of linguistic labor, what linguistic labor is, how linguistic labor is divided, and how the extensions of non-natural kind terms subject to the division of linguistic labor are determined. I illustrate these points by considering Sally Haslanger’s account of the division of linguistic labor for social kind (...)
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  45. Testimonial Injustice, Pornography, and Silencing.Aidan McGlynn - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):405-417.
    In this paper, I develop two criticisms of Miranda Fricker’s attempt to offer an interpretation of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women that conceives of the silencing in question as an extreme form of testimonial injustice. The intended contrast is with the speech act theoretical model of silencing familiar from Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby, who appeal to MacKinnon’s claim to argue against the standard liberal line on pornography, which takes a permissive stance to be demanded by a right to (...)
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  46. Just Words: On Speech and Hidden Harm.Mary Kate McGowan - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    We all know that speech can be harmful. But how? Mary Kate McGowan argues that speech constitutes harm when it enacts a norm that prescribes that harm. She investigates such harms as oppression, subordination, and discrimination in such forms of speech as sexist remarks, racist hate speech, pornography, verbal triggers, and micro-aggressions.
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  47. Fixing Pornography’s Illocutionary Force: Which Context Matters?Mari Mikkola - 2019 - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Rae Langton famously argues that pornographic speech illocutionarily subordinates and silences women. Making good this view hinges on identifying the context relevant for fixing such force. To do so, a parallel is typically drawn between pornographic recordings and multipurpose signs involved in delayed communication, but the parallel generates a dispute about the right illocutionary force-fixing context. Jennifer Saul and myself argue that if pornographic speech is akin to multipurpose signs, its illocutionary force is fixed by the actual decoding context: of (...)
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  48. Uneven Epithets.Nicole Ramsoomair - 2019 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (4).
    In this paper, I derive a test for distinguishing between derogatory terms by expanding upon Seana Shiffrin’s recent “thinker-based approach.” Protection on her account extends to many forms of speech due to a connection between speech and an individual’s development of autonomous thought. Shiffrin questions whether there is protection for corporate and commercial speech. The latter have a tendency to interfere with autonomous thought processes and do not clearly serve their development. I argue that these reasons for limitation serve as (...)
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  49. Toxic Misogyny and the Limits of Counterspeech.Lynne Tirrell - 2019 - Fordham Law Review 6 (87):2433-2452.
    Speech is a major vehicle for enacting and enforcing misogyny, so can counter-speech stop the harms of misogynist speech? This paper starts with a discussion of the nature of misogyny, from Dworkin, MacKinnon, and Frye, up to K. Manne’s new work, here emphasizing the ways that women are attacked or undermined through speech and images. Misogyny becomes toxic when it sharply and steadily limits the life prospects, including daily functioning, of the women it targets. To address the questions of counter-speech, (...)
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  50. Silencing Without Convention.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):573-598.
    Silencing is usually explained in terms of conventionalism about the nature of speech acts. More recently, theorists have tried to develop intentionalist theories of the phenomenon. I argue, however, that if intentionalists are to accommodate the conventionalists' main insight, namely that silencing can be so extreme as to render certain types of speech act completely unavailable to victims, they must take two assumptions on board. First, it must be possible that speakers' communicative intentions are opaque to the speakers themselves. Secondly, (...)
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