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Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs

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2019.07.02 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews David Sosa (ed.), Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs, Oxford University Press, 2018, 235pp., $60.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198758655. Reviewed by Ralph DiFranco, Auburn University Over the last decade, pejorative language has emerged as one of the most popular topics in the philosophy of language. David Sosa's book is a collection of papers by major players in the field. Several of the chapters are devoted to refining and defending views an author had previously advanced in print, though some entries explore uncharted territory. Topics under discussion include the process by which a slur is appropriated by its target group, whether a slurring word and its neutral counterpart term encode the same semantic content, and the nature of slurs' derogatory power, specifically their capacity to express derogatory attitudes and harm their targets. In what follows I canvass several papers, raise a few challenges to the views defended therein, and... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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