Language and Communication (forthcoming)
AbstractThe semantics of racial slurs has recently become a locus of debate amongst philosophers. While everyone agrees that slurs are offensive, there is disagreement about the linguistic mechanism responsible for this offensiveness. This paper places the debate about racial slurs into the context of a larger issue concerning the interface between semantics and pragmatics, and argues that even on minimalist assumptions, the offensiveness of slur words is more plausibly due to their semantic content rather than any pragmatic mechanism. Finally, I note that slurs make a good test case for expanding our semantic theories beyond the truth conditional tradition of Frege, which will be necessary in order to broaden the types of expressions handled by semantic theories
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Citations of this work
Argumentation Profiles and the Manipulation of Common Ground. The Arguments of Populist Leaders on Twitter.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 191:67-82.
In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:36-45.
The Semantics of Slurs: A Refutation of Pure Expressivism.Adam M. Croom - 2014 - Language Sciences 41:227-242.
Epistemic Slurs: A Novel Explicandum and Adequacy Constraint for Slur Theories.Adam Patterson - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):2029-2046.
Epistemic Slurs: A Novel Explicandum and Adequacy Constraint for Slur Theories.Adam Patterson - 2020 - Annalen der Philosophie 87 (4):2029-2046.
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