Linguistic Disobedience

Philosophers' Imprint 20 (21):1-16 (2020)
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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 civil disobedience. Accounting for attempts at appropriation is thus both a linguistic and socio-political endeavor. We demonstrate how these two facets of attempts at appropriation also help us understand the communicative features of civil disobedience.



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Author Profiles

David Miguel Gray
University of Memphis
Benjamin Lennertz
Colgate University

Citations of this work

Linguistic Mistakes.Indrek Reiland - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):2191-2206.
Environmental Activism and the Fairness of Costs Argument for Uncivil Disobedience.Ten-Herng Lai & Chong-Ming Lim - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (3):490-509.
Hatred: Understanding Our Most Dangerous Emotion.Berit Brogaard - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Meaning.Herbert Paul Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.
On referring.Peter F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
The Social Life of Slurs.Geoff Nunberg - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press. pp. 237–295.

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