Appropriating Insulting Terms
Webcast Q&A: Sunday, 12 June 2011, Question 5
In the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on 12 June 2011, I answered a question on appropriating insulting terms.
What do you think of people using pejorative terms for themselves, such as gays referring to themselves as "faggots" or Objectivists calling themselves "Randroids"? The term "Randroid" is supposed to imply that Objectivists are unthinking, mindless drones. However, I happily use this term to describe myself – after first calling myself an Objectivist, of course – because I think it squashes a lot of the negativity behind the pejorative when I adopt it willingly. Do you think it's for good Objectivists to adopt this term – and more generally, for people to use insults as badges of honor?
My Answer, In Brief: To use insults ironically among people who understand the joke is unproblematic, but to simply describe oneself in insulting terms does not combat the insult but sanctions it – or demands a double standard.
- Download: MP3 Segment
- Duration: 4:16
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I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
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