1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 60 (May 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Just Kidding: Stand-Up, Speech Acts and Slurs

Published Online: 17 Jul 2021
Page range: 1 - 25
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

People respond to moral criticism of their speech by claiming that they were joking. In this paper, I develop a speech act analysis of the humor excuse consisting of a negative stage, in which the speaker denies he or she was making an assertion, and a positive stage, in which the speaker claims she or he was engaged in non-serious/humorous speech instead. This analysis, however, runs afoul of the group identity objection, according to which there is a moral distinction between jokes targeting members of vulnerable groups made by members of those groups and similar jokes made by non-members. In order to avoid this objection, I offer a revision to the speech act analysis that draws upon Perry’s distinction between beliefs and belief-states.

Keywords

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