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Lucy McDonald
King's College London
  1. Your word against mine: the power of uptake.Lucy McDonald - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3505-3526.
    Uptake is typically understood as the hearer’s recognition of the speaker’s communicative intention. According to one theory of uptake, the hearer’s role is merely as a ratifier. The speaker, by expressing a particular communicative intention, predetermines what kind of illocutionary act she might perform. Her hearer can then render this act a success or a failure. Thus the hearer has no power over which act could be performed, but she does have some power over whether it is performed. Call this (...)
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  2. Please Like This Paper.Lucy McDonald - 2021 - Philosophy 96 (3):335-358.
    In this paper I offer a philosophical analysis of the act of ‘liking’ a post on social media. First, I consider what it means to ‘like’ something. I argue that ‘liking’ is best understood as a phatic gesture; it signals uptake and anoints the poster’s positive face. Next, I consider how best to theorise the power that comes with amassing many ‘likes’. I suggest that ‘like’ tallies alongside posts institute and record a form of digital social capital. Finally, I consider (...)
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  3.  52
    Reimagining Illocutionary Force.Lucy McDonald - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):918-939.
    Speech act theorists tend to hold that the illocutionary force of an utterance is determined by one interlocutor alone: either the speaker or the hearer. Yet experience tells us that the force of our utterances is not determined unilaterally. Rather, communication often feels collaborative. In this paper, I develop and defend a collaborative theory of illocutionary force, according to which the illocutionary force of an utterance is determined by an agreement reached by the speaker and the hearer. This theory, which (...)
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  4. Reimagining Illocutionary Force.Lucy McDonald - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Speech act theorists tend to hold that the illocutionary force of an utterance is determined by one interlocutor alone: either the speaker or the hearer. Yet experience tells us that the force of our utterances is not determined unilaterally. Rather, communication often feels collaborative. In this paper, I develop and defend a collaborative theory of illocutionary force, according to which the illocutionary force of an utterance is determined by an agreement reached by the speaker and the hearer. This theory, which (...)
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  5. Cat‐Calls, Compliments and Coercion.Lucy McDonald - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (1):208-230.
    In this paper, I offer a novel argument for why cat-calling is wrong. After warding off the objection that cat-calls are compliments and therefore morally benign, I show that it cannot be the semantic content of cat-calls which makes cat-calling wrong, because some cat-calls have seemingly benign content yet seem to wrong their targets (usually women and LGBTQ people) nonetheless. Instead, cat-calling is wrong because it silences targets, by preventing them from blocking cat-callers’ presuppositions of authority, and exploits them, by (...)
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  6. Shaming, Blaming, and Responsibility.Lucy McDonald - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (2):131-155.
    Despite its cultural prominence, shaming has been neglected in moral philosophy. I develop an overdue account of shaming, which distinguishes it from both blaming and the mere production of shame. I distinguish between two kinds of shaming. Agential shaming is a form of blaming. It involves holding an individual morally responsible for some wrongdoing or flaw by expressing a negative reactive attitude towards her and inviting an audience to join in. Non-agential shaming also involves negatively evaluating a person and inviting (...)
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  7.  69
    Two-faced compliments.Lucy McDonald - 2022 - Analysis 82 (2):255-263.
    Compliments have received only cursory attention from speech act theorists and are usually characterised as run-of-the-mill illocutionary acts. Yet both intentionalist and conventionalist theories of illocutionary force struggle to accommodate ordinary language uses of ‘compliment’. I argue that this is because there are in fact two kinds of compliment: illocutionary compliments and perlocutionary compliments. This account illuminates the practice of complimenting, as well as its converse, insulting, and illustrates the complex relationship between illocutionary force and perlocutionary effect.
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    Michelle Ciurria, An Intersectional Feminist Theory of Moral Responsibility.Lucy McDonald - 2022 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 19 (4):435-437.
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