The neutral counterpart assumption is widely accepted in the study of slurs. It provides a simple and an effective explanation for the meaning of slurs. Slurring terms are coextensional with their neutral counterparts. However, Lauren Ashwell has questioned this assumption. She argues that gendered slurs refer to a subset of their neutral counterparts. Hence, slurs are not coextensional with their counterparts. She goes on to present a view that is not based on the counterpart assumption. Still, her view is a unifying view of slurs as it also applies to ethnic and racial slurs. In this paper, I defend the counterpart assumption with a generic view of slurs. While being a unifying view, it accommodates the subset argument with its eponymous feature that the meaning of slurs involves a generic component.
- Jufo-taso 1