Really Expressive Presuppositions and How to Block Them

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien
Teresa Marques University of Barcelona,

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Manuel García-Carpintero University of Barcelona,

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Kaplan (1999) argued that a different dimension of expressive meaning (“use-conditional”, as opposed to truth-conditional) is required to characterize the meaning of pejoratives, including slurs and racial epithets. Elaborating on this, writers have argued that the expressive meaning of pejoratives and slurs is either a conventional implicature (Potts 2007) or a presupposition (Macià 2002 and 2014, Schlenker 2007, Cepollaro and Stojanovic 2016). Here the authors argue that an expressive presuppositional theory accounts well for the data, but that expressive presuppositions are not just propositions to be added to a common ground. They hold that expressives, including pejoratives and slurs, make requirements on a contextual record governed by sui generis norms specific to affective attitudes and their expressions.

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