International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (2):191 – 205 (2007)
In a recent paper, after outlining various distinguishing features of derogatory words, Jennifer Hornsby suggests that the phenomenon raises serious difficulties for inferentialism. Against Hornsby, I claim that derogatory words do not pose any insuperable problems for inferentialism, so long as it is supplemented with apparatus borrowed from Grice and Hare. Moreover, I argue, derogatory expressions pose difficulties for Hornsby's favoured alternative theory of meaning, representationalism, unless it too is conjoined with a similar Grice/Hare mechanism. So, the upshot of the discussion is that, contra Hornsby, focus on derogatory expressions alone does not provide grounds for deciding between competing theories of meaning, but nevertheless serves to highlight important features that any such theory must acknowledge and incorporate
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References found in this work BETA
Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism.Robert Brandom - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment.Robert B. Brandom - 1994 - Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
It's Not What You Said, It's the Way You Said It: Slurs and Conventional Implicatures.Daniel Whiting - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):364-377.
Conservatives and Racists: Inferential Role Semantics and Pejoratives.Daniel J. Whiting - 2008 - Philosophia 36 (3):375-388.
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