Mostrando las entradas de enero, 2016

Slurs and Race

Warning: the following post mentions racial slurs, and even though I am convinced such mentions are not offensive, they might nevertheless be triggering to survivors.

One of the phenomena that a linguistic theory of slurs must account for is the fact that even though both the following assertions are offensive unacceptable, they seem prima facie to be unacceptable in different senses:
Selena Quintanilla was a spic.John Wayne was a spic.This difference manifests in the fact that even though some people (who, presumably, hold certain negative attitudes towards some other people, including Selena Quintanilla but not John Wayne) would find (1) acceptable, no competent speaker would find (2) acceptable.

The deep question, of course, is what does “unacceptable” means here and what is the difference between these two cases.

Many philosophers have tried to explain this phenomena in terms of truth, and so we have two broad camps regarding this issue: Elminativist accounts of slurs, take (1) and (2…