A drawback for substitutional arguments

Language Sciences 88 (November) (2021)

Abstract

Competing theories on the semantics of group pejorative terms (also known as‘slurs’)comprise both advocates and opponents to the Identity Thesis (IT), according to whichthese terms and their neutral counterparts do not differ in semantic value. In the oppo-nents’camp, Christopher Hom has offered an argument based on substitution of slurs andneutral counterparts that both supports his semanticist approach and cast doubts on all IT-based approaches to slurs. We aim to point to a dilemma triggered by this argument based on evidence showing that substitution of some words (including but not restricted to slurs)for non-problematically co-referential pairs may fail to preserve truth-values in some linguistics contexts.

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Adam Sennet
University of California, Davis

References found in this work

Uber Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.
The Social Life of Slurs.Geoffrey Nunberg - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.

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