Remarks on The Semantics of Racial Slurs

Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 13:11-32 (2014)
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Abstract

In “The Semantics of Racial Slurs,” an article recently published in Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, Hedger draws upon Kaplan’s distinction between descriptive and expressive content to argue that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content. Here I review the key considerations presented by Hedger in support of his purely expressive account of slurs and provide clear reasons for why it must ultimately be rejected. After reviewing the key cases Hedger offers for consideration in support of his view that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content, this article provides a critical evaluation of these cases, pointing out at least 13 ways in which his purely expressive analysis of slurs fails. In considering the 13 ways in which the purely expressive analysis of slurs remains inadequate, this article concludes with the suggestion that an adequate account of slurs will ultimately involve not only an expressive aspect but a descriptive aspect also

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Adam M. Croom
University of California, Berkeley

References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
.Ernest LePore & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.) - 1985 - Blackwell.
Slurring Words.Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):25-48.
The Semantics of Racial Epithets.Christopher Hom - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (8):416-440.

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