Results for 'slurs'

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Bibliography: Slurs in Philosophy of Language
  1. Slurs and Register: A Case Study in Meaning Pluralism.Justina Diaz-Legaspe, Chang Liu & Robert J. Stainton - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (2):156-182.
    Most theories of slurs fall into one of two families: those which understand slurring terms to involve special descriptive/informational content (however conveyed), and those which understand them to encode special emotive/expressive content. Our view is that both offer essential insights, but that part of what sets slurs apart is use-theoretic content. In particular, we urge that slurring words belong at the intersection of a number of categories in a sociolinguistic register taxonomy, one that usually includes [+slang] and [+vulgar] (...)
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  2. Slurs, Roles and Power.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt & Jeremy L. Wyatt - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2879-2906.
    Slurring is a kind of hate speech that has various effects. Notable among these is variable offence. Slurs vary in offence across words, uses, and the reactions of audience members. Patterns of offence aren’t adequately explained by current theories. We propose an explanation based on the unjust power imbalance that a slur seeks to achieve. Our starting observation is that in discourse participants take on discourse roles. These are typically inherited from social roles, but only exist during a discourse. (...)
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  3. Slurs, Neutral Counterparts, and What You Could Have Said.Arianna Falbo - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):359-375.
  4. Slurring Words.Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):25-48.
  5. The Social Life of Slurs.Geoffrey Nunberg - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    The words we call slurs are just plain vanilla descriptions like ‘cowboy’ and ‘coat hanger’. They don't semantically convey any disparagement of their referents, whether as content, conventional implicature, presupposition, “coloring” or mode of presentation. What distinguishes 'kraut' and 'German' is metadata rather than meaning: the former is the conventional description for Germans among Germanophobes when they are speaking in that capacity, in the same way 'mad' is the conventional expression that some teenagers use as an intensifier when they’re (...)
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  6. Slurs as Illocutionary Force Indicators.Chang Liu - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (3):1051-1065.
    Slurs are derogatory words and they are used to derogate certain groups. Theories of slurs must explain why they are derogatory words, as well as other features like independence and descriptive ineffability. This paper proposes an illocutionary force indicator theory of slurs: they are derogatory terms because their use is to perform the illocutionary act of derogation, which is a declarative illocutionary act to enforce norms against the target. For instance, calling a Chinese person “chink” is an (...)
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  7. Slurs.Adam M. Croom - 2011 - Language Sciences 33:343-358.
    Slurs possess interesting linguistic properties and so have recently attracted the attention of linguists and philosophers of language. For instance the racial slur "nigger" is explosively derogatory, enough so that just hearing it mentioned can leave one feeling as if they have been made complicit in a morally atrocious act.. Indeed, the very taboo nature of these words makes discussion of them typically prohibited or frowned upon. Although it is true that the utterance of slurs is illegitimate and (...)
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  8. Gendered Slurs.Lauren Ashwell - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):228-239.
    Slurring language has had a lot of recent interest, but the focus has been almost exclusively on racial slurs. Gendered pejoratives, on the other hand—terms like “slut,” “bitch,” or “sissy”—do not fit into existing accounts of slurring terms, as these accounts require the existence of neutral correlates, which, I argue, these gendered pejoratives lack. Rather than showing that these terms are not slurs, I argue that this challenges the assumption that slurs must have neutral correlates, and so (...)
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  9. Slurs, Interpellation, and Ideology.Rebecca Kukla - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (S1):7-32.
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  10. Normalizing Slurs and Out‐Group Slurs: The Case of Referential Restriction.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (2):234-255.
    The relation between slurs and their neutral counterparts has been put into question recently by the fact that some slurs can be used to refer to subsets of the referential classes determined by their associated counterparts. This paper aims to reinforce this relation by offering a way of explaining referential restriction that distinguishes between two kinds of slurs: those performing a normalizing role upon (some) individuals inside a class (mostly, a gender) and those used to derogate a (...)
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  11. Spanish Slurs and Stereotypes for Mexican-Americans in the USA: A Context-Sensitive Account of Derogation and Appropriation [Peyorativos y Estereotipos Para Los Mexicano-Americanos En EE. UU.: Una Consideración Contextual Del Uso Despectivo y de Apropiación].Adam M. Croom - 2014 - Pragmática Sociocultural 2 (2):145-179.
    Slurs such as spic, slut, wetback, and whore are linguistic expressions that are primarily understood to derogate certain group members on the basis of their descriptive attributes and expressions of this kind have been considered to pack some of the nastiest punches natural language affords. Although prior scholarship on slurs has uncovered several important facts concerning their meaning and use –including that slurs are potentially offensive, are felicitously applied towards some targets yet not others, and are often (...)
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  12. Contested Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):11-30.
    Sometimes speakers within a linguistic community use a term that they do not conceptualize as a slur, but which other members of that community do. Sometimes these speakers are ignorant or naïve, but not always. This article explores a puzzle raised when some speakers stubbornly maintain that a contested term t is not derogatory. Because the semantic content of a term depends on the language, to say that their use of t is semantically derogatory despite their claims and intentions, we (...)
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  13. The Pragmatics of Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):439-462.
    I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints (...)
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  14.  11
    Slurs and Expressivity: Semantics and Beyond.Eleonora Orlando & Andrés Saab (eds.) - 2021 - Lexington Books.
    This book provides analysis of the expressive aspects of slur-words and their impact in practices of linguistic communication usually related to the discrimination or segregation of certain human groups.
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  15. Slurring Perspectives.Elisabeth Camp - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):330-349.
  16. Slurs and Stereotypes.Robin Jeshion - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):314-329.
  17. Slurs and the Type-Token Distinction of Their Derogatory Force.Chang Liu - 2019 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 13 (2):63-72.
    Slurs are derogatory, and theories of slurs aim at explaining their “derogatory force”. This paper draws a distinction between the type derogatory force and the token derogatory force of slurs. To explain the type derogatory force is to explain why a slur is a derogatory word. By contrast, to explain the token derogatory force is to explain why an utterance of a slur is derogatory. This distinction will be defended by examples in which the type and the (...)
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  18.  65
    Slurs Are Directives.Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19:1-28.
    Recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of slurs has explored a variety of ways of explaining their potential to derogate, with the most popular family of approaches appealing to either: (i), the doxastic or evaluative attitudes or commitments expressed by — or (ii), the propositions concerning such attitudes or commitments semantically or pragmatically communicated by — the speakers who use them. I begin by arguing that no such speaker-oriented approach can be correct. I then propose an alternative treatment (...)
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  19.  18
    Slurs and Thick Terms: When Language Encodes Values.Bianca Cepollaro - 2020 - Lexington Books.
    What is the relation between language, communication, and values? In Slurs and Thick Terms, Bianca Cepollaro explores the ways in which certain pieces of evaluative language, such as slurs and so-called thick terms, not only reflect speakers’ moral perspectives, but also contribute to promote the speaker’s evaluative stance.
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  20.  34
    Slurs and Lexical Presumption.William G. Lycan - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:3-11.
    Grice's cryptic notion of “conventional implicature” has been developed in a number of different ways. This paper deploys the simplest version, Lycan's (1984) notion of “lexical presumption,” and argues that slurs and other pejorative expressions have normal truth-conditional content plus the most obvious extra implicatures. The paper then addresses and rebuts objections to “conventional implicature” accounts that have been made in the literature, particularly those which focus on non-offensive uses of slurs.
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  21.  53
    Slurs, Stereotypes and Insults.Eleonora Orlando & Andrés Saab - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):599-621.
    This paper is about paradigmatic slurs, i.e. expressions that are prima facie associated with the expression of a contemptuous attitude concerning a group of people identified in terms of its origin or descent, race, sexual orientation, ethnia or religion, gender, etc. Our purpose is twofold: explaining their expressive meaning dimension in terms of a version of stereotype semantics and analysing their original and most typical uses as insults, which will be called with a neologism ‘insultive’, in terms of a (...)
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  22. Slurring and Common Knowledge of Ordinary Language.Richard Vallee - 2014 - Journal of Pragmatics 61:78-90.
    Ethnic slurs have recently raised interest in philosophy of language. Consider (1) Yao is Chinese and (2) Yao is a chink. A theory of meaning should take into account the fact that sentence (2) has the property of containing a slur, a feature plausibly motivating an utterance of (2) rather than (1), and conveys contempt because it contains that word. According to multipropositionalism, two utterances can have the same official truth conditions and the same truth-value but differ in cognitive (...)
     
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  23.  44
    Slurs and Toxicity.Jesse Rappaport - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):177-202.
    Slurs are special. They can be so powerful and harmful that even mentioning them can be offensive. What explains this “toxicity” that many slurs display? Most discussions in the literature on slurs attempt to analyze the derogatory meaning of slurs, differing in where they locate this meaning – in the semantics, pragmatics, etc. In this article, the author argues that these content theories, despite their merits, are unable to account for toxicity. For a content-based approach to (...)
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  24. Slurs, Pejoratives, and Hate Speech.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - 2020 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
  25.  6
    Slur Creation, Bigotry Formation: The Power of Expressivism.Robin Jeshion - 2016 - Phenomenology and Mind 11:130-139.
    Theories of slurs aim to explain how – via semantics, pragmatics, or other mechanisms – speakers who use slurs convey that targets are inferior persons. I present two novel problems. The Slur Creation Problem: How do terms come to be slurs? An expression ‘e’ is introduced into the language. What are the mechanisms by which ‘e’ comes to possess properties distinctive of slurs? The Bigotry Formation Problem: Speakers’ uses of slurs are a prime mechanism of (...)
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  26. 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.
    In this paper, I defend against a number of criticisms an account of slurs, according to which the same semantic content is expressed in the use of a slur as is expressed in the use of its neutral counterpart, while in addition the use of a slur conventionally implicates a negative, derogatory attitude. Along the way, I criticise competing accounts of the semantics and pragmatics of slurs, namely, Hom's 'combinatorial externalism' and Anderson and Lepore's 'prohibitionism'.
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  27. Slurs as Ballistic Speech.Richard P. Stillman - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6827-6843.
    Slurs are words with a well-known tendency to conjure up painful memories and experiences in members of their target communities. Owing to this tendency, it’s widely agreed that one ought to exercise considerable care when even mentioning a slur, so as to avoid needlessly inflicting distressing associations on members of the relevant group. This paper argues that this tendency to evoke distressing associations is precisely what makes slurs impactful verbal weapons. According to the ballistic theory, slurs make (...)
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  28. Not All Slurs Are Equal.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - 2016 - Phenomenology and Mind 11:150-156.
    Slurs are typically defined as conveying contempt based on group-membership. However, here I argue that they are not a unitary group. First, I describe two dimensions of variation among derogatives: how targets are identified, and how offensive the term is. This supports the typical definition of slurs as opposed to other derogatives. I then highlight problems with this definition, mainly caused by variable offence across slur words. In the process I discuss how major theories of slurs can (...)
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  29. In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:36-45.
    Abstract In the last fifteen years philosophers and linguists have turned their attention to slurs: derogatory expressions that target certain groups on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and so on. This interest is due to the fact that, on the one hand, slurs possess puzzling linguistic properties; on the other hand, the questions they pose are related to other crucial issues, such as the descriptivism/expressivism divide, the semantics/pragmatics divide and, generally speaking, the theory of meaning. (...)
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  30.  23
    Slurs and Semantic Indeterminacy.Giuliano Torrengo - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1617-1627.
    The analysis of the derogatory aspect of slurs has recently aroused interest among philosophers of language. A puzzling element of it is its erratic behaviour in embeddings, for instance negation or belief reports. The derogatory aspect seems sometimes to “scope out” from the embedding to the context of utterance, while at other times it seems to interact with the linguistic constructions in which the slur is implanted. I argue that slurs force us to maintain a kind of semantic (...)
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  31. What is a Slur?Justina Diaz-Legaspe - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1399-1422.
    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 (...)
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  32.  93
    Asian Slurs and Stereotypes in the USA: A Context-Sensitive Account of Derogation and Appropriation.Adam M. Croom - 2018 - Pragmatics and Society 9:495-517.
    Slurs such as chink and gook are linguistic expressions that are primarily used to derogate certain group members for their descriptive attributes (such as their ethnicity) and are often considered the most offensive of expressions. Recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of slurs has illuminated several important facts regarding their meaning and use – including that slurs are commonly understood to felicitously apply towards some targets yet not others, that slurs are among the most potentially (...)
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  33.  23
    The Sound of Slurs: Bad Sounds for Bad Words.Eric Mandelbaum & Steven Young - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy.
    An analysis of a valenced corpus of English words revealed that words that rhyme with slurs are rated more poorly than their synonyms. What at first might seem like a bizarre coincidence turns out to be a robust feature of slurs, one arising from their phonetic structure. We report novel data on phonaesthetic preferences, showing that a particular class of phonemes are both particularly disliked, and overrepresented in slurs. We argue that phonaesthetic associations have been an overlooked (...)
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  34.  97
    Slurs & Thick Concepts-is the New Expressivism Tenable?Nenad Miščević - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):159-182.
    Mark Richard in his book offers a new and challenging expressivist theory of the use and semantics of slurs (pejoratives). The paper argues that in contrast, the central and standard uses of slurs are cognitive. It does so from the role of stereotypes in slurring, from fi gurative slurs and from the need for cognitive effort (or simple of knowledge of relevant presumed properties of the target). Since cognition has to do with truth and falsity, and since (...)
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  35.  14
    Slurs and Antipresuppositions.Nicolás Lo Guercio - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (2):377-400.
    It has been observed that when there is competition between alternative sentences with different presuppositional strength, use of the weaker alternative triggers an inference, sometimes called an antipresupposition, to the effect that the presupposition of the stronger alternative is not satisfied. Furthermore, it has been argued that in order to account for antipresuppositions, it is necessary to postulate an independent pragmatic principle called Maximize Presupposition!, which states that the sentence with the stronger presupposition should be preferred whenever its presupposition is (...)
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  36.  33
    Slurs and Expressive Commitments.Leopold Hess - 2020 - Acta Analytica 36 (2):263-290.
    Most accounts of the derogatory meaning of slurs are semantic. Recently, Nunberg proposed a purely pragmatic account offering a compelling picture of the relation between derogatory content and social context. Nunberg posits that the semantic content of slurs is identical to that of neutral counterparts, and that derogation is a result of the association of slur use with linguistic conventions of bigoted speakers. The mechanism responsible for it is a special kind of conversational implicature. However, this paper argues (...)
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  37. The Semantics of Slurs: A Refutation of Coreferentialism.Adam M. Croom - 2015 - Ampersand: An International Journal of General and Applied Linguistics 2:30-38.
    Coreferentialism refers to the common assumption in the literature that slurs and descriptors are coreferential expressions with precisely the same extension. For instance, Vallee recently writes that “If S is an ethnic slur in language L, then there is a non-derogatory expression G in L such that G and S have the same extension”. The non-derogatory expression G is commonly considered the nonpejorative correlate of the slur expression S and it is widely thought that every S has a coreferring (...)
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  38. The Semantics of Slurs: A Refutation of Pure Expressivism.Adam M. Croom - 2014 - Language Sciences 41:227-242.
    In several recent contributions to the growing literature on slurs, Hedger draws upon Kaplan’s distinction between descriptive and expressive content to argue that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content. The distinction between descriptive and expressive content and the view that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content has been widely acknowledged in prior work, and Hedger aims to contribute to this tradition of scholarship by offering novel arguments in support of his ‘‘pure expressivist’’ account of (...). But the account that PE offers is explanatorily inadequate, resting on suspect a priori intuitions which also commit one to denying many basic facts about slurs, such as that slurs largely display systematic differential application and that slurs can be used non-offensively between in-group speakers. In this article I provide clear reasons for rejecting PE, arguing particularly against Hedger as one of PE’s most explicit and recent proponents. In showing that PE is inadequate in at least 11 ways, I argue in favor of a mixed or hybrid approach. (shrink)
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  39. An Essentialist Theory of the Meaning of Slurs.Eleonore Neufeld - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: Slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is (...)
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  40.  36
    Slurs under quotation.Stefan Rinner & Alexander Hieke - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1483-1494.
    Against content theories of slurs, according to which slurs have some kind of derogatory content, Anderson and Lepore have objected that they cannot explain that even slurs under quotation can cause offense. If slurs had some kind of derogatory content, the argument goes, quotation would render this content inert and, thus, quoted slurs should not be offensive. Following this, Anderson and Lepore propose that slurs are offensive because they are prohibited words. In this paper, (...)
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  41.  51
    Slurs as the Shortcut of Discrimination.Bianca Cepollaro - 2017 - Rivista di Estetica 64:53-65.
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  42.  8
    Slurs, Synonymy, and Taboo.Y. Sandy Berkovski - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
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  43.  36
    Practices of Slur Use.Leopold Hess - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):86-105.
    Given the apparent nondisplaceability and noncancellability of the derogatory content of slurs, it may appear puzzling that non-derogatory uses of slurs exist. Moreover, these uses seem to be in general available only to in-group speakers, thereby exhibiting a peculiar kind of context-sensitivity. In this paper the author argues that to understand non-derogatory uses we should consider slurs in terms of the kind of social practice their uses instantiate. A suitable theory of social practices has been proposed by (...)
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  44. Epistemic Slurs: A Novel Explicandum and Adequacy Constraint for Slur Theories.Adam Patterson - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):2029-2046.
    I argue that there are slurs that are distinctly derogatory insofar as they only derogate their target’s epistemic faculties or capacities qua group member. I call these slurs epistemic slurs. Given that slur theories should explain the derogatory nature of all slurs, any comprehensive slur theory should be able to explain the derogatory nature of the epistemic slurs. I argue, however, that two particular expressivist theories of slurs cannot explain their distinctive derogatory nature. The (...)
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  45.  11
    Slurs and Tone.Ernie Lepore & Matthew Stone - 2018 - In Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 205-217.
    Two claims that are hard to deny are that slurs can be offensive, and that not all uses of language are communicative. It’s therefore perplexing why no one has considered the possibility that slurs might be offensive not because of what they communicate but rather because of interpretive effects their uses might exact. In what follows, we intend to argue just that, namely, that confrontations with slurs can set in motion a kind of imaginative engagement that rouses (...)
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  46.  38
    Communicating with Slurs.Jesse Rappaport - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):795-816.
    An adequate linguistic theory of slurs must address three major aspects of their meaning: descriptive, evaluative and expressive. Slurs denote specific groups, they are used to convey speakers’ evaluative attitudes, and some have a very strong emotional impact. In this paper, I argue that a variety of mechanisms are required to account for this range of properties. Semantically, slurs simply denote the groups that they target. Pragmatically, speakers use slurs to show, in the Relevance-Theoretic sense, that (...)
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  47.  8
    Slurs and Freedom of Speech.Stefan Rinner - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  48.  26
    Generic Inferential Rules for Slurs: Dummett and Williamson on Ethnic Pejoratives.Pasi Valtonen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6533-6551.
    Michael Dummett has proposed an influential analysis of the meaning of ethnic and racial slurs based on inferential rules. Timothy Williamson, however, finds the analysis problematic. It does not seem to explain how slurs are actually used. Williamson’s challenge for the inferentialist account of slurs has not gone unnoticed. In this article, I first discuss the debate between the inferentialists and Williamson. I argue that the inferentialist responses concentrate on the wrong issue and the real issue in (...)
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  49.  3
    Slurs, Synonymy, and Taboo.Sandy Berkovski - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    The ‘prohibitionist’ idea that slurs have the same linguistic properties as their neutral counterparts hasn’t received much support in the literature. Here I offer a modified version of prohibitionism, according to which the taboo on using slurs is part of their conventional meaning. I conclude with explanations of the behaviour of slurs in embedded constructions.
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  50. Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs.David Sosa (ed.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    What makes a word bad? On the one hand, slurs and other derogatory language appear to be meaningful - different slurs can seem to refer to different groups, for example. On the other hand, slurs can seem to be just an arbitrary tool for insulting or enabling harm. How is the meaning of a slur related to its practical uses?
     
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