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Slurs

Language Sciences 33:343-358 (2011)

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  1. A Drawback for Substitutional Arguments.Justina Diaz-Legaspe & Sennet Adam - 2021 - Language Sciences 88 (November).
    Competing theories on the semantics of group pejorative terms (also known as‘slurs’)comprise both advocates and opponents to the Identity Thesis (IT), according to whichthese terms and their neutral counterparts do not differ in semantic value. In the oppo-nents’camp, Christopher Hom has offered an argument based on substitution of slurs andneutral counterparts that both supports his semanticist approach and cast doubts on all IT-based approaches to slurs. We aim to point to a dilemma triggered by this argument based on evidence showing (...)
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  • 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 speech (...)
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  • What’s Wrong with Truth-Conditional Accounts of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro & Tristan Thommen - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (4):333-347.
    The aim of this paper is to provide arguments based on linguistic evidence that discard a truth-conditional analysis of slurs and pave the way for more promising approaches. We consider Hom and May’s version of TCA, according to which the derogatory content of slurs is part of their truth-conditional meaning such that, when slurs are embedded under semantic operators such as negation, there is no derogatory content that projects out of the embedding. In order to support this view, Hom and (...)
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  • John Cook Wilson.Mathieu Marion - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in perception, (...)
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  • The Moral Grounds of Reasonably Mistaken Self-Defense.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):140-156.
    Some, but not all, of the mistakes a person makes when acting in apparently necessary self-defense are reasonable: we take them not to violate the rights of the apparent aggressor. I argue that this is explained by duties grounded in agents' entitlements to a fair distribution of the risk of suffering unjust harm. I suggest that the content of these duties is filled in by a social signaling norm, and offer some moral constraints on the form such a norm can (...)
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  • Hybrid Evaluatives: In Defense of a Presuppositional Account.Bianca Cepollaro & Isidora Stojanovic - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (3):458-488.
    In this paper, the authors present a presuppositional account for a class of evaluative terms that encode both a descriptive and an evaluative component: slurs and thick terms. The authors discuss several issues related to the hybrid nature of these terms, such as their projective behavior, the ways in which one may reject their evaluative content, and the ways in which evaluative content is entailed or implicated (as the case may be) by the use of such terms.
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  • 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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  • Expressivism and the Offensiveness of Slurs.Robin Jeshion - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):231-259.
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  • What Counts as an Insult?Ivan Milić - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):539-552.
    In virtue of what does a linguistic act count as an insult? I discuss five main approaches to this question, according to which an insult is determined by (i) the semantic properties of the expression used; (ii) the insulter, her intention, or attitudes; (iii) the addressee and her personal standard; (iv) the features of the speech act performed; and (v) the standard of the relevant social group. I endorse the last, objectivist account, according to which an act x counts as (...)
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  • Epistemic Slurs: A Novel Explicandum and Adequacy Constraint for Slur Theories.Adam Patterson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    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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  • 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 on (...)
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  • An Indexical Theory of Racial Pejoratives.Michael Scott & Graham Stevens - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):385-404.
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  • Slurring Perspectives.Elisabeth Camp - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):330-349.
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  • Slurs and Stereotypes.Robin Jeshion - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):314-329.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Meaning and Emotion.Constant Bonard - 2021 - Dissertation, Université de Genève
    This dissertation may be divided into two parts. The first part is about the Extended Gricean Model of information transmission. This model, introduced here, is meant to better explain how humans communicate and understand each other. It has been developed to apply to cases that were left unexplained by the two main models of communication found in contemporary philosophy and linguistics, i.e. the Gricean model and the code model. In particular, I show that these latter two models cannot apply to (...)
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  • Slurs, Stereotypes, and in-Equality: A Critical Review of “How Epithets and Stereotypes Are Racially Unequal”.Adam M. Croom - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:139-154.
    Are racial slurs always offensive and are racial stereotypes always negative? How, if at all, are racial slurs and stereotypes different and unequal for members of different races? Questions like these and others about slurs and stereotypes have been the focus of much research and hot debate lately, and in a recent article Embrick and Henricks aimed to address some of the aforementioned questions by investigating the use of racial slurs and stereotypes in the workplace. Embrick and Henricks drew upon (...)
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  • 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 slurs. But the account (...)
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  • Racial Epithets, Characterizations, and Slurs.Adam M. Croom - 2013 - Analysis and Metaphysics 12:11-24.
    Since at least 2008 linguists and philosophers of language have started paying more serious attention to issues concerning the meaning or use of racial epithets and slurs. In an influential article published in The Journal of Philosophy, for instance, Christopher Hom (2008) offered a semantic account of racial epithets called Combinatorial Externalism (CE) that advanced a novel argument for the exclusion of certain epithets from freedom of speech protection under the First Amendment (p. 435). Also in more recent work, “The (...)
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  • Slurs, Neutral Counterparts, and What You Could Have Said.Arianna Falbo - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy 1.
    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 (2017) and Nunberg (2018), which rely heavily upon the optionality of slurs, namely, that a speaker exercises a deliberate lexical choice to use a slur when they could (...)
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  • 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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  • Busting the Ghost of Neutral Counterparts.Jennifer Foster - unknown
    Philosophers have nearly universally assumed that some highly general semantic relationship obtains between slurs and so-called “neutral counterpart” terms. This assumption has been fleshed out in different ways. On all extant accounts, however, it implies an unmotivated distinction between paradigmatic slur/“neutral counterpart” pairs and many pairs that theorists haven’t considered, including `chick flick’/`romantic comedy’, `stoner’/`cannabis user’, and `liberal’/`libtard’. For pairs like these, the most intuitive theory of the target relationship involves overlap––both in (presumed) extension and associated stereotypes. Since (I argue) (...)
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  • Music, Neuroscience, and the Psychology of Wellbeing: A Précis.Adam M. Croom - 2012 - Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 2 (393):393.
    In Flourish, the positive psychologist Martin Seligman (2011) identifies five commonly recognized factors that are characteristic of human flourishing or wellbeing: (1) “positive emotion,” (2) “relationships,” (3) “engagement,” (4) “achievement,” and (5) “meaning” (p. 24). Although there is no settled set of necessary and sufficient conditions neatly circumscribing the bounds of human flourishing (Seligman, 2011), we would mostly likely consider a person that possessed high levels of these five factors as paradigmatic or prototypical of human flourishing. Accordingly, if we wanted (...)
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  • Remarks on The Semantics of Racial Slurs.Adam M. Croom - 2014 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 13:11-32.
    In “The Semantics of Racial Slurs,” an article recently published in Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, Hedger draws upon Kaplan’s distinction between descriptive and expressive content to argue that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content. Here I review the key considerations presented by Hedger in support of his purely expressive account of slurs and provide clear reasons for why it must ultimately be rejected. After reviewing the key cases Hedger offers for consideration in support of his view that slurs are (...)
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  • 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 emphasizing (...)
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  • 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 true of (...)
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  • Emociones, ofensa y registro sociolingüístico: el caso de los “usos distantes” de los términos discriminatorios.Justina Diaz Legaspe & Robert Stainton - 2020 - Critica 51 (153):3-29.
    Existe un tipo particular de usos de términos discriminatorios en el que las emociones negativas típicamente asociadas a él no se hallan de hecho presentes. Aun así, lo incorrecto o inadecuado sigue resonando en esos usos. Este tipo de ``uso distante'' resulta interesante per se, en cuanto fenómeno conversacional rara vez advertido. Sin embargo, también presta apoyo a una aproximación a los términos discriminatorios basada en el concepto sociolingüístico de ``registro'', de la cual se sigue esta relación entre emociones e (...)
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  • Emotive Meaning in Political Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2019 - Informal Logic 39 (3):229-261.
    Donald Trump’s speeches and messages are characterized by terms that are commonly referred to as “thick” or “emotive,” meaning that they are characterized by a tendency to be used to generate emotive reactions. This paper investigates how emotive meaning is related to emotions, and how it is generated or manipulated. Emotive meaning is analyzed as an evaluative conclusion that results from inferences triggered by the use of a term, which can be represented and assessed using argumentation schemes. The evaluative inferences (...)
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  • Aesthetic Concepts, Perceptual Learning, and Linguistic Enculturation: Considerations From Wittgenstein, Language, and Music.Adam M. Croom - 2012 - Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science 46:90-117.
    Aesthetic non-cognitivists deny that aesthetic statements express genuinely aesthetic beliefs and instead hold that they work primarily to express something non-cognitive, such as attitudes of approval or disapproval, or desire. Non-cognitivists deny that aesthetic statements express aesthetic beliefs because they deny that there are aesthetic features in the world for aesthetic beliefs to represent. Their assumption, shared by scientists and theorists of mind alike, was that language-users possess cognitive mechanisms with which to objectively grasp abstract rules fixed independently of human (...)
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  • Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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  • The Importance of Poetry, Hip-Hop, and Philosophy for an Enlisted Aviator in the USAF (2000-2004) Flying in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.Adam M. Croom - 2015 - Journal of Poetry Therapy 28:73-97.
    This special issue of Journal of Poetry Therapy focuses on the use of poetry and other forms of expressive writing to explore the transformative experiences of military veterans, and so in this article I discuss how the use of poetry, hip-hop, and philosophy positively influenced my life while I was serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) from 2000 through 2004. This article briefly reviews my reasons for enlisting and discusses the importance that poetry, hip-hop, and philosophy had for (...)
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  • Por Que o Expressivismo Puro Não Funciona Para Injúrias?Rogério Corrêa - 2018 - Dissertatio 47 (S6):106-127.
    O expressivismo puro divide as expressões entre as que possuem apenas conteúdo descritivo e as que possuem apenas conteúdo expressivo. As primeiras, mas não as segundas, são aptas à verdade e à falsidade. Hedger aplica esta distinção às injúrias e, como resultado, elas são consideradas termos com conteúdo puramente expressivo. O seu argumento geral baseia-se no teste de projeção de comportamento de injúrias e em quatro evidências. Nesse sentido, se é verdade que injúrias raciais não são expressões com conteúdo puramente (...)
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