Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs

ISBN : 9780198758655

David Sosa
272 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2018
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What makes a word bad? Slurs and other derogatory language present a compelling case study for philosophy of language: on the one hand, slurs appear to be meaningful - different slurs can seem to refer to different groups, for example. On the other hand, slurs can seem to be just an arbitrary tool for insulting or enabling harm. How is the meaning of a slur related to its practical uses? Leading figures in the field explore these questions. The Engaging Philosophy series is a new forum for collective philosophical engagement with controversial issues in contemporary society.


David Sosa: Introduction
1 Calling, Addressing, and Appropriation: Calling, Addressing, and Appropriation
2 Elisabeth Camp: Calling, Addressing, and Appropriation
3 Kent Bach: Loaded Words: On the Semantics and Pragmatics of Slurs
4 Robin Jeshion: Slurs, Dehumanization, and the Expression of Contempt
5 Christopher Hom and Robert May: Pejoratives as Fiction
6 Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone: Pejorative Tone
7 Mark Richard: How do Slurs Mean?
8 Geoffrey Pullum: Slurs and Obscenities: Lexicography, Semantics, and Philosophy
9 Laurence Horn: Nice Words for Nasty Things: Taboo and its Discontents

About the author: 

David Sosa is Temple Centennial Professor in the Humanities at UT Austin. He has been at Austin since 1997, after spending two years on a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. Before that, he completed his PhD at Princeton. Sosa serves as editor of the journal Analytic Philosophy, and he is co-editor of Philosophy of Language (Oxford, 6th edition), Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (Wiley/Blackwell), and Analytic Philosophy: A Companion (Wiley/Blackwell).

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