Reference and ethnic-group terms

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Abstract
The increasingly pluralistic character of modern societies has led to questions, not only about the proper use of ethnic-group terms, but also about the correct semantic analysis of them. Here I argue that ethnic-group terms are analogous to other linguistic expressions whose extension is fixed in the way suggested by a causal theory of reference. My view accommodates precisely those scenarios of communication involving ethnic-group terms that will be seen puzzling to Fregeans. At the same time, it undermines the plausibility of skepticism about those terms.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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2009-01-28

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