Obscene Words and their Functions, I

Joel Feinberg

in The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law: Volume 2: Offense to Others

Published in print May 1988 | ISBN: 9780195052152
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785872 | DOI:
 Obscene Words and their Functions, I

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Obscene words have the capacity to offend and shock listeners, and in some cases even fill with dread and horror. The class of words that are either obscene, totally disreputable, or naughty enough to be forbidden, is diverse and heterogeneous. These include sexual vulgarities, other “dirty words”, political labels, ethnic slurs, insulting terms, and religious blasphemies. Obscene-to-naughty words and phrases can be classified into two main categories: profanities and vulgarities. Derivative uses of obscenity are discussed.

Keywords: obscene words; obscenities; profanity; vulgarity

Chapter.  13278 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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