A contextualist analysis of insults
For a predicate expression F contained in a sentence S (‘x is F’) to count as an insult, it should be used in a situation having a number of contextual elements. There should be an audience to whom the utterance of S is addressed. There should be a target of the insult, an individual who the speaker wishes to be shunned, excluded from certain, more or less salient, forms of social cooperation. The purpose of the utterance of S is to persuade the audience, by appeal to their emotions, to shun the target. Slurs have the canonical occasions of use structurally identical to the occasions of insults.