Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Stickiness of Slurs: Expressivity and Expressivism

Date: 03 June 2015

Time: 15:00

Place: Seminari de Filosofia UB


In this talk, I focus on one of the most intriguing behaviour of slurs—scopal variability: typically the offensiveness projects but sometimes it embeds. Thus, the offense sticks around even when we try to deny it, or in ‘inoculating’ contexts when reporting others’ speech and thoughts. I argue that explaining the full pattern of behavior supports an expressivist dual-speech acts view, on which slurs make two distinct but coordinated speech-acts: defending a predicating act of group-membership, and expressing contempt toward that group non-defensively. I contend that non-defensive expressing is the key to explain an implicit silencing on targets and non-targets alike.