Esercizi Filosofici 10 (2) (2015)

Claudia Bianchi
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele (Milan)
Derogatory epithets are terms such as “nigger” and “faggot” targeting individuals and groups of individuals on the basis of race, nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation. There is no consensus on the best treatment of derogatory epithets. The aim of my paper is to evaluate a proposal recently put forward by Rae Langton, the speech acts account. Assessing SAA is far from an easy task, since the proposal is little more than an outline, deeply intertwined with Langton’s general view on hate speech and pornography. My goal is first of all to disentangle a coherent account from Langton’s observations; second, I will raise and partially address some key objections against it. I will argue that, although SAA gives us significant insights into a number of phenomena, it is in need of a clearer formulation and further investigation.
Keywords slurs   hate speech     speech acts   propaganda   subordination
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