What is a slur?

Philosophical Studies:1-24 (forthcoming)

Authors
Abstract
Although there seems to be an agreement on what slurs are, many authors diverge when it comes to classify some words as such. Hence, many debates would benefit from a technical definition of this term that would allow scholars to clearly distinguish what counts as a slur and what not. Although the paper offers different definitions of the term in order to allow the reader to choose her favorite, I claim that ‘slurs’ is the name given to a grammatical category, and I consequently trace a difference in kind between slurs and other kinds of group pejoratives. I rely on a novel approach to slurs that characterizes them based on their membership to a particular kind of register category, an often neglected sociolinguistic notion determining the social contexts in which registered terms are expected, tolerated or unacceptable. The paper also points out to the close link between words registered as [+derogatory] and their usage in the context of dominance relations of different kinds between users and recipients of slurs. By pointing out to this link I hope to underscore the political significance of slur usage, as well as to contribute further to the explanation why slurs are so damaging and unacceptable in most social contexts.
Keywords slurs  derogatory language  discrimination  meaning  register
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01259-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,607
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Slurs, Roles and Power.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt & Jeremy L. Wyatt - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2879-2906.
The Semantics of Racial Epithets.Christopher Hom - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (8):416-440.
Expressivism and the Offensiveness of Slurs.Robin Jeshion - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):231-259.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Reporting of Slurs.Keith Allan - 2015 - In Alessandro Capone, Ferenc Kiefer & Franco Lo Piparo (eds.), Indirect reports and pragmatics: interdisciplinary studies. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. pp. 211-232.
Do Racists Speak Truly? On the Truth‐Conditional Content of Slurs.Ralph DiFranco - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):28-37.
A Subtle Slur On Medicine.[author unknown] - 1979 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 7 (3):17-17.
Comentario Bibliografico. [REVIEW]Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2003 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 29 (2):336-338.
The Social Life of Slurs.Geoffrey Nunberg - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs.David Sosa (ed.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-02-19

Total views
36 ( #208,865 of 2,325,322 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
36 ( #15,283 of 2,325,322 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature