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  1. Communicating with Slurs.Jesse Rappaport - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):795-816.
    An adequate linguistic theory of slurs must address three major aspects of their meaning: descriptive, evaluative and expressive. Slurs denote specific groups, they are used to convey speakers’ evaluative attitudes, and some have a very strong emotional impact. In this paper, I argue that a variety of mechanisms are required to account for this range of properties. Semantically, slurs simply denote the groups that they target. Pragmatically, speakers use slurs to show, in the Relevance-Theoretic sense, that they share a negative (...)
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  • Slurs, roles and power.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt & Jeremy L. Wyatt - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2879-2906.
    Slurring is a kind of hate speech that has various effects. Notable among these is variable offence. Slurs vary in offence across words, uses, and the reactions of audience members. Patterns of offence aren’t adequately explained by current theories. We propose an explanation based on the unjust power imbalance that a slur seeks to achieve. Our starting observation is that in discourse participants take on discourse roles. These are typically inherited from social roles, but only exist during a discourse. A (...)
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  • The Semantics of Racial Epithets.Christopher Hom - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (8):416-440.
    Racial epithets are derogatory expressions, understood to convey contempt toward their targets. But what do they actually mean, if anything? While the prevailing view is that epithets are to be explained pragmatically, I argue that a careful consideration of the data strongly supports a particular semantic theory. I call this view Combinatorial Externalism. CE holds that epithets express complex properties that are determined by the discriminatory practices and stereotypes of their corresponding racist institutions. Depending on the character of the institution, (...)
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  • What Did You Call Me? Slurs as Prohibited Words.Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):350-363.
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  • Slurring Words.Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore - 2011 - Noûs 47 (1):25-48.
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  • A Word Which Bears a Sword: Inquiries into Pejoratives.Nenad Miščević & Julija Perhat (eds.) - 2016
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  • The Constitution of Social Practices.Kevin McMillan - 2017 - Milton Park, UK; New York, USA: Routledge.
    Practices – specific, recurrent types of human action and activity – are perhaps the most fundamental "building blocks" of social reality. This book argues that the detailed empirical study of practices is essential to effective social-scientific inquiry. It develops a philosophical infrastructure for understanding human practices, and argues that practice theory should be the analytical centrepiece of social theory and the philosophy of the social sciences. -/- What would social scientists’ research look like if they took these insights seriously? To (...)
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  • Social Identity, Indexicality, and the Appropriation of Slurs.Katherine Ritchie - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):155-180.
    Slurs are expressions that can be used to demean and dehumanize targets based on their membership in racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual orientation groups. Almost all treatments of slurs posit that they have derogatory content of some sort. Such views—which I call content-based—must explain why in cases of appropriation slurs fail to express their standard derogatory contents. A popular strategy is to take appropriated slurs to be ambiguous; they have both a derogatory content and a positive appropriated content. However, (...)
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  • Slurs and appropriation: an echoic account.Claudia Bianchi - 2014 - Journal of Pragmatics 66:35–44.
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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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  • Expressive presuppositions.Philippe Schlenker - 2007 - Theoretical Linguistics 33:237–245.
    Potts (2005, 2007) has argued that expressives such as honky must be analyzed using an entirely new dimension of meaning. We explore a more conservative theory in which expressives are presuppositional expressions [Macià 2002] that are indexical and attitudinal (and sometimes shiftable): they predicate something of the mental state of the agent of the context (and this need not always be the agent of the actual context). Following Stalnaker’s recent work on informative presuppositions (2002), we argue that the presuppositions triggered (...)
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  • Derogatory Terms: Racism, Sexism and the Inferential Role Theory of Meaning.Lynne Tirrell - 1999 - In Kelly Oliver & Christina Hendricks (eds.), Language and Liberation: Feminism, Philosophy and Language,. SUNY Press.
    Derogatory terms (racist, sexist, ethnic, and homophobic epithets) are bully words with ontological force: they serve to establish and maintain a corrupt social system fuelled by distinctions designed to justify relations of dominance and subordination. No wonder they have occasioned public outcry and legal response. The inferential role analysis developed here helps move us away from thinking of the harms as being located in connotation (representing mere speaker bias) or denotation (holding that the terms fail to refer due to inaccurate (...)
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