Slurs, truth-value judgements, and context sensitivity

01 Mar 2018

Cappelen and Lepore (2005) claim that the English language contains a basic and limited set of context-sensitive expressions, as only expressions within this set pass the truth-related tests that they propose to single out context-sensitive from context-insensitive words. In this paper I argue that racial and ethnic slurs also pass Cappelen and Lepore’s context sensitivity tests and that, as a result, slurs should also be seen as context-sensitive expressions in a truth-related sense.