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Slurring and Swearing Conference

Research Project: Language and Mind

3rd June 2017 - 4th June 2017

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The conference brings together researchers from the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, semantics and pragmatics to explore issues concerning pejoratives, swear words and expressive language.

The conference aims to address a range of questions directly related to such language. For instance, what is the semantic content of such expressions? What are the pragmatic effects of the use of such terms? What is the relationship between such expressions and psychological attitudes like disapproval or contempt? What accounts for their distinctive status as offensive or derogatory pieces of language, and how did they come to be that way? In addition to being important independent objects of inquiry, such questions have the potential to deepen and forge new directions in our understanding of well-worn topics in a diverse range of sub-disciplines. For instance, issues discussed touch on the semantics-pragmatics distinction in the Philosophy of Language, the nature of offence and derogation in the Philosophy of Law, meta-ethical expressivism, the nature of `thick’ concepts in debates in meta-ethics, and so on.

Featured speakers include: Robin Jeshion (USC), Christopher Hom (Texas Tech.), Rachel Sterken (Oslo), Ernie Lepore (Rutgers), Rebecca Roache (RHUL), and Geoffrey Pullum (Edinburgh). We are organising this conference in accordance with the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme and are committed to ensure the conference is fully accessible.’

Provisional Schedule

Saturday 3rd June

09:30 – 10:00 Coffee
10:00 – 11:20 Rachel Sterken (Oslo)Transformative Communicative Disruptions
11:20 – 11:40 Coffee break
11:40 – 13:00 Alper Yavuz (St Andrews/MSFAU) Metaphors and Slurs
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:20 Ernie Lepore (Rutgers) Pejorative Tone
15:20 – 15:40 Coffee break
15:40 – 17:00 Geoffrey Pullum (Edinburgh) Words Are Things: Lexicography and Philosophy 18:00 Conference dinner

Sunday 4th June

09:30 – 10:00 Coffee
10:00 – 11:20 Rebecca Roache (RHUL) What do we do when we censor swearing?
11:20 – 11:40 Coffee break
11:40 – 13:00 Poppy Mankowitz (St Andrews) and Ashley Shaw (UCL)‘Focusing on Pejoratives’
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:20 Robin Jeshion (USC) Pride and Prejudice: On the Creation and Appropriation of Slurs
15:20 – 15:40 Coffee break
15:40 – 17:00 Christopher Hom (Texas Tech) Ideological Words and Thoughts

For more information please contact the organisers: Poppy Mankowitz, Ashley Shaw and Alper Yavuz by sending an email to slurringandswearing@gmail.com

Registration is now closed

This event is open to all philosophers in Scotland and beyond and is made possible by the generous support of the Analysis Trust, the Aristotelian Society, the Mind Association and the Scots Philosophical Association.


3rd June 2017
4th June 2017


School II
United College, St Salvator's Quad
St Andrews, KY169AL United Kingdom
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