Slurs

Edited by Chang Liu (Shanghai JiaoTong University)
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141 found
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  1. The Spectrum of Particularistic Insults.Víctor Carranza-Pinedo - manuscript
  2. Covert Mixed Quotation.Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - manuscript
    The term 'covert mixed quotation' describes cases in which linguistic material is interpreted in the manner of mixed quotation — that is, used in addition to being mentioned — despite the superficial absence of any commonly recognized conventional devices indicating quotation. After developing a novel theory of mixed quotation, I show that positing covert mixed quotation allows us to give simple and unified treatments of a number of puzzling semantic phenomena, including the projective behavior of conventional implicature items embedded in (...)
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  3. Local Conceptual Engineering in a Linguistic Subgroup and the Implementation Problem.Takaaki Matsui - manuscript
    In this paper, I examine Max Deutsch’s dilemma for the implementation of newly engineered concepts. In the debate over this dilemma, the goal of conceptual engineering tends to be set either too high or too low. As a result, implementation tends to be seen as either very unlikely to succeed or too easily achievable. This paper aims to offer a way out of this dilemma. I argue that the success conditions for implementation can be better understood if we distinguish between (...)
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  4. "Y'all are just too sensitive": A computational ethics approach to understanding how prejudice against marginalized communities becomes epistemic belief.Johannah Sprinz - manuscript
    Members of marginalized communities are often accused of being "too sensitive" when subjected to supposedly harmless acts of microaggression. This paper explores a simulated society consisting of marginalized and non-marginalized agents who interact and may, based on their individually held convictions, commit acts of microaggressions. Agents witnessing a microaggression might condone, ignore or condemn such microaggressions, thus potentially influencing a perpetrator's conviction. A prototype model has been implemented in NetLogo, and possible applications are briefly discussed.
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  5. The Language of Mental Illness.Renee Bolinger - forthcoming - In Justin Khoo & Rachel Katharine Sterken (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    This paper surveys some philosophical issues with the language surrounding mental illness, but is especially focused on pejoratives relating to mental illness. I argue that though 'crazy' and similar mental illness-based epithets (MI-epithets) are not best understood as slurs, they do function to isolate, exclude, and marginalize members of the targeted group in ways similar to the harmfulness of slurs more generally. While they do not generally express the hate/contempt characteristic of weaponized uses of slurs, MI-epithets perpetuate epistemic injustice by (...)
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  6. Meaning and Racial Slurs: Derogatory Epithets and the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface.Joseph A. Hedger - forthcoming - Language and Communication.
    The 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 (...)
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  7. 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 source of some (...)
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  8. Neopragmatist Inferentialism and the Meaning of Derogatory Terms – A Defence.Deborah Mühlebach - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Inferentialism seems to be an unpopular theory where derogatory terms are concerned. Contrary to most theorists in the debate on the meaning of derogatory terms, I think that inferentialism constitutes a promising theory to account for a broad range of aspects of derogatory language use. In order to make good on that promise, however, inferentialism must overcome four main objections that are usually raised against Michael Dummett's and Robert Brandom's inferentialist explanations of derogatory terms. This paper aims at debunking these (...)
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  9. Sociolinguistic variation, slurs, and speech acts.Ethan Nowak - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I argue that the ‘social meanings’ associated with sociolinguistic variation put pressure on the standard philosophical conception of language, according to which the foremost thing we do with words is exchange information. Drawing on parallels with the explanatory challenge posed by slurs and pejoratives, I argue that the best way to understand social meanings is to think of them in speech act theoretic terms. I develop a distinctive form of pluralism about the performances realized by means of (...)
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  10. The semantics of deadnames.Taylor Koles - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (4):715-739.
    Longstanding philosophical debate over the semantics of proper names has yet to examine the distinctive behavior of deadnames, names that have been rejected by their former bearers. The use of these names to deadname individuals is derogatory, but deadnaming derogates differently than other kinds of derogatory speech. This paper examines different accounts of this behavior, illustrates what going views of names will have to say to account for it, and articulates a novel version of predicativism that can give a semantic (...)
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  11. Slurs' Variability, Emotional Dimensions, and Game-Theoretic Pragmatics.Víctor Carranza-Pinedo - 2023 - In D. Bekki, K. Mineshima & E. McCready (eds.), Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics. LENLS 2022. Springer.
    Slurs’ meaning is highly unstable. A slurring utterance like ‘Hey, F, where have you been?’ (where F is a slur) may receive a wide array of interpretations depending on various contextual factors such as the speaker’s social identity, their relationship to the target group, tone of voice, and more. Standard semantic, pragmatic, and non-content theories of slurs have proposed different mechanisms to account for some or all types of variability observed, but without providing a unified framework that allows us to (...)
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  12. Busting the Ghost of Neutral Counterparts.Jen Foster - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10 (42):1187-1242.
    Slurs have been standardly assumed to bear a very direct, very distinctive semantic relationship to what philosophers have called “neutral counterpart” terms. I argue that this is mistaken: the general relationship between paradigmatic slurs and their “neutral counterparts” should be assumed to be the same one that obtains between ‘chick flick’ and ‘romantic comedy’, as well a huge number of other more prosaic pairs of derogatory and “less derogatory” expressions. The most plausible general relationship between these latter expressions — and (...)
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  13. Focus on slurs.Poppy Mankowitz & Ashley Shaw - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (3):693-710.
    Slurring expressions display puzzling behaviour when embedded, such as under negation and in attitude and speech reports. They frequently appear to retain their characteristic qualities, like offensiveness and propensity to derogate. Yet it is sometimes possible to understand them as lacking these qualities. A theory of slurring expressions should explain this variability. We develop an explanation that deploys the linguistic notion of focus. Our proposal is that a speaker can conversationally implicate metalinguistic claims about the aptness of a focused slurring (...)
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  14. The expression of hate in hate speech.Teresa Marques - 2023 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 40 ((5)):769-78.
    In this paper, I argue that hate speech expresses hate, and answer some objections to expressivist views. First, I briefly comment on some limitations of pragmatic accounts of harmful speech. I then present an expressive-normative view of derogatory discourse according to which it is expressive of an affective state by presupposing it. A linguistic act expressive of an affective state inherits the normativity that is constitutive of that state, as directed to its intentional object. If the act is successful, it (...)
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  15. Hate Speech as Antithetical to Free Speech: The Real Polarity.Tiffany Elise Montoya - 2023 - Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. Edited by Will Barnes.
    I claim that hate speech is actually antithetical to free speech. Nevertheless, this claim invokes the misconception that one would be jeopardizing free speech due to a phenomenon known as "false polarization" – a “tendency for disputants to overestimate the extent to which they disagree about whatever contested question is at hand.” The real polarity does not lie between hate speech (as protected free speech) vs. censorship. Rather, hate speech is censorship. It is the censorship of entire sectors of the (...)
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  16. The Landscape of Affective Meaning.Víctor Carranza-Pinedo - 2022 - Dissertation, Institut Jean Nicod
    Swear words are highly colloquial expressions that have the capacity to signal the speaker's affective states, i.e., to display the speaker's feelings with respect to a certain stimulus. For this reason, swear words are often called 'expressives'. Which linguistic mechanisms allow swear words display affective states, and, more importantly, how can such 'affective content' be characterized in a theory of meaning? Even though research on expressive meaning has produced models that integrate the affective aspects of swear words in a compositional (...)
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  17. Tackling Verbal Derogation: Linguistic Meaning, Social Meaning and Constructive Contestation.Deborah Mühlebach - 2022 - In David Bordonaba Plou, Víctor Fernández Castro & José Ramón Torices (eds.), The Political Turn in Analytic Philosophy: Reflections on Social Injustice and Oppression. Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 173-198.
    Our everyday practices are meaningful in several ways. In addition to the linguistic meanings of our terms and sentences, we attach social meanings to actions and statuses. Philosophy of language and public debates often focus on contesting morally and politically pernicious linguistic practices. My aim is to show that this is too little: even if we are only interested in morally and politically problematic terms, we must counteract a pernicious linguistic practice on many levels, especially on the level of its (...)
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  18. 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 epistemic slurs thus constitute a novel (...)
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  19. 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, we will show that, pace Anderson (...)
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  20. True Pejorative Sentences Beyond the Existential Core: On Some Unwelcome Implications of Hom and May's Theory.Ludovic Soutif & André Pontes - 2022 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 63 (153):757-780.
    This paper considers one of the most significant and controversial attempts to account for the meaning of pejoratives as lexical items, namely Hom and May’s. After outlining the theory, we pinpoint sets of pejorative sentences that come out true on their account and for which the question as to whether they are compatible with the view advocated by them (so-called Moral and Semantic Innocence) remains open. Helping ourselves to the standard model-theoretical framework Hom and May (presumably) work in, we prove (...)
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  21. A rich-lexicon theory of slurs and their uses.Dan Zeman - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):942-966.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I present data involving the use of the Romanian slur ‘țigan’, consideration of which leads to the postulation of a sui-generis, irreducible type of use of slurs. This type of use is potentially problematic for extant theories of slurs. In addition, together with other well-established uses, it shows that there is more variation in the use of slurs than previously acknowledged. I explain this variation by construing slurs as polysemous. To implement this idea, I appeal to (...)
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  22. Rethinking Slurs: A Case Against Neutral Counterparts and the Introduction of Referential Flexibility.Alice Damirjian - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):650-671.
    Slurs are pejorative expressions that derogate individuals or groups on the basis of their gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and so forth. In the constantly growing literature on slurs, it has become customary to appeal to so-called “neutral counterparts” for explaining the extension and truth-conditional content of slurring terms. More precisely, it is commonly assumed that every slur shares its extension and literal content with a non-evaluative counterpart term. I think this assumption is unwarranted and, in this paper, I (...)
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  23. Slurs, neutral counterparts, and what you could have said.Arianna Falbo - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):359-375.
    Recent pragmatic accounts of slurs argue that the offensiveness of slurs is generated by a speaker's free choice to use a slur opposed to a more appropriate and semantically equivalent neutral counterpart. I argue that the theoretical role of neutral counterparts on such views is overstated. I consider two recent pragmatic analyses, Bolinger (Noûs, 51, 2017, 439) and Nunberg (New work on speech acts, Oxford University Press, 2018), which rely heavily upon the optionality of slurs, namely, that a speaker exercises (...)
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  24. Slur Reclamation – Polysemy, Echo, or Both?Zuzanna Jusińska - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):689–707.
    This paper concerns the topic of slur reclamation. I start with presenting two seemingly opposing accounts of slur reclamation, Jeshion’s (2020) Polysemy view and Bianchi’s (2014) Echoic view. Then, using the data provided by linguists, I discuss the histories of the reclamation of the slur ‘queer’ and of the n-word, which bring me to presenting a view of reclamation that combines the Polysemy view and Echoic view. The Combined view of slur reclamation proposed in this paper postulates meaning change while (...)
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  25. The Derogatory Force and the Offensiveness of Slurs.Chang Liu - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):626–649.
    Slurs are both derogatory and offensive, and they are said to exhibit “derogatory force” and “offensiveness.” Almost all theories of slurs, except the truth-conditional content theory and the invocational content theory, conflate these two features and use “derogatory force” and “offensiveness” interchangeably. This paper defends and explains the distinction between slurs’ derogatory force and offensiveness by fulfilling three goals. First, it distinguishes between slurs’ being derogatory and their being offensive with four arguments. For instance, ‘Monday’, a slur in the Bostonian (...)
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  26. Inferential patterns of emotive meaning.Fabrizio Macagno & Maria Grazia Rossi - 2021 - In Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone (eds.), Inquiries in Philosophical Pragmatics: Issues in Linguistics. Springer. pp. 83-110.
    This paper investigates the emotive (or expressive) meaning of words commonly referred to as “loaded” or “emotive,” which include slurs, derogative or pejorative words, and ethical terms. We claim that emotive meaning can be reinterpreted from a pragmatic and argumentative perspective, which can account for distinct aspects of ethical terms, including the possibility of being modified and its cancellability. Emotive meaning is explained as a defeasible and automatic or automatized evaluative and intended inference commonly associated with the use of specific (...)
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  27. Pejoratives & Oughts.Teresa Marques - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (3):1109-1125.
    Chris Hom argued that slurs and pejoratives semantically express complex negative prescriptive properties, which are determined in virtue of standing in external causal relations to social ideologies and practices. He called this view Combinatorial Externalism. Additionally, he argued that Combinatorial Externalism entailed that slurs and pejoratives have null extensions. In this paper, I raise an objection that has not been raised in the literature so far. I argue that semantic theories like Hom’s are forced to choose between two alternatives: either (...)
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  28. Exactly Why Are Slurs Wrong?Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 84:13-29.
    This article, part of a special issue on 'Expressing Hatred', seeks to provide a comprehensive and fundamental account of why racial epithets and similar slurs are immoral, whenever they are. It considers three major theories, roughly according to which they are immoral because they are harmful (welfarism), because they undermine autonomy (Kantianism), or because they are unfriendly (an under-considered, relational approach informed by ideas from the Global South). This article presents new objections to the former two theories, and concludes in (...)
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  29. Semantic contestations and the meaning of politically significant terms.Deborah Mühlebach - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):788-817.
    In recent discussions on the meaning of derogatory terms, most theorists base their investigations on the assumption that slurring terms could in principle have some neutral, i.e. purely descriptive, counterpart. Lauren Ashwell has recently shown that this assumption does not generalize to gendered slurs. This paper aims to challenge the point and benefit of approaching the meaning of derogatory terms in contrast to their allegedly purely descriptive counterparts. I argue that different discursive practices among different communities of practice sometimes change (...)
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  30. 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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  31. Not All Speakers are Equal: Harm and Conversational Standing.Claudia Picazo - 2021 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 1 (84).
    McGowan has provided a linguistic mechanism that explains how speech can constitute harm. Her idea is that utterances routinely enact s-norms about what is permissible in a given context. My aim is to argue that these s-norms are sensitive to the conversational standing of the speaker. In particular, I claim that the strength of the norm enacted depends on the standing of the speaker. In some cases, the speaker might even lack the standing required to enact new s-norms.
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  32. The Direct Reference of Pejoratives in Hate Speech.Kanit Sirichan - 2021 - Philosophia: International Journal of Philosophy (Philippine e-journal) 22 (2):245-259.
    The use of language in hate speech is understandably offensive. Though words do not kill, they convey an alarming message that can harm the victim. To understand how words can harm, it is necessary to understand the nature of the meaning of pejoratives or slurs that are used in hate speech. Pejoratives are undeniably offensive. However, they are puzzling as they can be used in two directions, namely, the offensive power preservation and the offensive power destruction. This paper proposes that (...)
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  33. 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 such potent insults (...)
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  34. Slurs: Departures from Genuine Uses and Derogation.Delia Belleri - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 62 (1):9-24.
    Some non-appropriated uses of slurs seem to be non–derogatory. In this paper, I argue that in a range of cases, the lack of derogation is owed to the term not being genuinely used. I first examine so–called pedagogical uses and show that they can be assimilated to what I call “distancing uses.” I then turn to a range of other apparently non–derogatory, non–appropriated uses of slurs – such as non–weapon uses, comedic uses – and argue that they can depart from (...)
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  35. 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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  36. Hatred: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion.Berit Brogaard - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Hatred: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion The first in-depth philosophical analysis of personal hate and group hate, Hate: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion explores how personal hatred can foster domestic violence and emotional abuse, how hate-proneness is a main contributor to the aggressive tendencies of borderlines, narcissists and psychopaths, how seemingly ordinary people embark on some of history's worst hate crimes, and how cohesive groups, subjected to spontaneous forces of group polarization, can develop extremist viewpoints of the sort that motivate (...)
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  37. A Persona-based Semantics for Slurs.Heather Burnett - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):31-62.
    This paper presents a new style of semantic analysis for slurs: linguistic expressions used to denigrate individuals based on some aspects of their identity. As an illustration, the author will focus on one slur in particular: dyke, which is generally considered to be a derogatory term for lesbians. The author argues that not enough attention in the literature has been paid to the use of dyke by members of the target group, who can often use it in a non-insulting manner; (...)
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  38. More on pejorative language: insults that go beyond their extension.Elena Castroviejo, Katherine Fraser & Agustín Vicente - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9139-9164.
    Slurs have become a big topic of discussion both in philosophy and in linguistics. Slurs are usually characterised as pejorative terms, co-extensional with other, neutral, terms referring to ethnic or social groups. However, slurs are not the only ethnic/social words with pejorative senses. Our aim in this paper is to introduce a different kind of pejoratives, which we will call “ethnic/social terms used as insults”, as exemplified in Spanish, though present in many other languages and mostly absent in English. These (...)
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  39. 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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  40. Editors’ Introduction: The Challenge from Non-Derogatory Uses of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro & Dan Zeman - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):1-10.
    The Introduction to "Non-Derogatory Uses of Slurs", special issue of Grazer Philosophische Studien.
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  41. Are Ableist Insults Secretly Slurs?Chris Cousens - 2020 - Language Sciences 77.
    Philosophers often treat racist and sexist slurs as a special sort of puzzle. What is the difference between a slur and its correlates? In attempting to answer this question, a second distinction has been overlooked: that between slurs and insults. What makes a term count as a slur? This is not an unnecessary taxonomical question as long as ableist terms such as ‘moron’ are dismissed as mere insults. Attempts to resolve the insult/slur distinction by considering the communicative content of slurs (...)
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  42. The Instability of Slurs.Christopher Davis & Elin McCready - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):63-85.
    The authors outline a program for understanding the semantics and pragmatics of slur terms, proposing that slurs are mixed expressives that predicate membership in some social group G while simultaneously invoking a complex of historical facts and social attitudes about G. The authors then point to the importance of distinguishing between the potential offensive and derogatory effects of slur terms, with the former deriving from the impact on the listener of the invoked content itself, and the latter deriving from inferences (...)
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  43. 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 grammatical category, (...)
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  44. 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] and always (...)
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  45. Linguistic Disobedience.David Miguel Gray & Benjamin Lennertz - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (21):1-16.
    There has recently been a flurry of activity in the philosophy of language on how to best account for the unique features of epithets. One of these features is that epithets can be appropriated (that is, the offense-grounding potential of a term can be removed). We argue that attempts to appropriate an epithet fundamentally involve a violation of language-governing rules. We suggest that the other conditions that make something an attempt at appropriation are the same conditions that characterize acts of (...)
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  46. 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 McMillan. In typical (...)
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  47. 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 that Nunberg’s (...)
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  48. Pride and Prejudiced.Robin Jeshion - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):106-137.
    The reclamation of slurs raises a host of important questions. Some are linguistic: What are the linguistic conventions governing the slur post-reclamation and how are they related to the conventions governing it pre-reclamation? What mechanisms engender the shift? Others bend toward the social: Why do a slur’s targets have a special privilege in initiating its reclamation? Is there a systematic explanation why prohibitions on out-group use of reclaimed slurs vary from slur to slur? And how does reclamation contribute to shaping (...)
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  49. 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 act of derogation (...)
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  50. Really expressive presuppositions and how to block them.Teresa Marques & Manuel García-Carpintero - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):138-158.
    Kaplan (1999) argued that a different dimension of expressive meaning (“use-conditional”, as opposed to truth-conditional) is required to characterize the meaning of pejoratives, including slurs and racial epithets. Elaborating on this, writers have argued that the expressive meaning of pejoratives and slurs is either a conventional implicature (Potts 2007) or a presupposition (Macià 2002 and 2014, Schlenker 2007, Cepollaro and Stojanovic 2016). We argue that an expressive presuppositional theory accounts well for the data, but that expressive presuppositions are not just (...)
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