A puzzle about pejoratives

Philosophical Studies 159 (3):383-405 (2012)

Abstract

Pejoratives are the class of expressions that are meant to insult or disparage. They include swear words and slurs. These words allow speakers to convey emotional states beyond the truth-conditional contents that they are normally taken to encode. The puzzle arises because, although pejoratives seem to be a semantically unified class, some of their occurrences are best accounted for truth-conditionally, while others are best accounted for non-truth-conditionally. Where current, non-truth-conditional, views in the literature fail to provide a unified solution for the puzzle, this paper motivates a novel, semantic, analysis of pejorative language. The significance of the proposed solution is not only linguistic in nature, but also philosophical, as it both provides a new argument for, and sheds further light on, the nature of semantic externalism

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-06-06

Downloads
272 (#41,169)

6 months
7 (#102,242)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Christopher Hom
Texas Tech University

References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Pejoratives.Christopher Hom - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (2):164-185.
Slurs & Thick Concepts-is the New Expressivism Tenable?Nenad Miščević - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):159-182.
Expressive-Assertivism.By Daniel R. Boisvert - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):169–203.
Some Thoughts About the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever.Tim S. Roberts - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 30 (6):609-612.
On the Behavior of True and False.Stefan Wintein - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (1):1-24.
Our Virtues.Robert Guay - 2005 - Philosophical Topics 33 (2):71-87.