ABSTRACT. This paper argues that there cannot be non-derogatory, non-appropriated uses of racial, homophobic or sexist slurs, contrary to what some authors have contended. I focus on two groups of alleged examples of non-derogatory, non-appropriated uses of slurs that have been presented in the literature, and I argue that they are both misguided in one way or another. I especially concentrate on the second set of examples, arguing that it presupposes what may be called an Internalism about derogation, whereby whether the use of a term is derogatory is a matter that can be determined by the intentions of the speaker. I then set forth what I call Externalism about derogation, according to which whether a term is derogatory depends on the way and degree to which it expresses derogation at the level of its socially and culturally shaped communicative import. pp. 70–81

Keywords: externalistic derogation; racial; homophobic; sexist slur

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University of Barcelona

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