This book is a collection of new articles on the topic of slurs and other derogatory terms and problematic language. The articles are written by some of the leading contributors to the field. Slurs are an interesting case for the philosophy of language. On one hand, they seem to be meaningful in something like the way many other expressions are meaningful—different slurs might seem in some way to refer to different groups, for example. But on the other hand, it is clear that slurs also have distinctive practical effects and roles. How are those aspects related? Slurs are bad words; but how can words be bad? Just how the use of words is related to their significance is of course one of the deepest issues in philosophy of language: slurs not only refine that issue, by presenting a kind of use that presents novel challenges, but they also give the issue a compelling practical relevance.
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