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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A multidimensional account of the meanings of slurs holds that a slur has both literal, truth-conditional content (which is neutral) and conventional implicature (which is derogatory). This chapter offers a careful examination of the motivations and commitments for a multidimensional account and argues that the theoretic costs for such a view are prohibitive. One of the primary motivations for a multidimensional account over a purely truth-conditional account is the apparent wide-scoping phenomenon of slurs (e.g., that derogatory content does not seem cancellable under negation). The chapter argues that carefully distinguishing between predication and assertion not only dispels the misconception that the phenomena in question is centrally about scope but also vindicates the purely truth-conditional account as a more general and unified explanation.

Keywords: slurs, pejoratives, conventional implicature, assertion, predication, appropriation

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