Organon F

Volume 28, August 2021, Issue 3, Pages 726–744

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Value in Language

Unmentionables: Some Remarks on Taboo

Stefano Predelli


This paper discusses the phenomenon of linguistic taboo. It contrasts that phenomenon with the truth-conditional and non-truth-conditional dimensions of meaning, paying particular attention to slurs and coarseness. It then highlights the peculiarities of taboo and its meta-semantic repercussions: taboo is a meaning-related feature that is nevertheless directly associated with the tokening process. In the conclusion, it gestures to the role of taboo within a theory of linguistic action and the standard framework for conversational exchanges. On these results, I am going to end by looking at some of the harms that epistemic injustice inflicts upon its victims.


Taboo; non-truth-conditional meaning; derogation; coarseness; register; David Kaplan.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Stefano Predelli


University of Nottingham


Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, Room C43 Humanities Building, NG7 2RD Nottingham, United Kingdom


About this article


20 October 2020


10 May 2021

Published online

30 August 2021


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Predelli, S. (2021). Unmentionables: Some Remarks on Taboo. Organon F28(3), 726–744.


Predelli, Stefano. 2021. "Unmentionables: Some Remarks on Taboo." Organon F 28 (3): 726–744.


Predelli, S. (2021). Unmentionables: Some Remarks on Taboo. Organon F, 28(3), pp. 726–744.

Copyright information

© Stefano Predelli

Response page

The above URL is linked with the article's response page. The response page is a permanent location that is associated with the article's DOI number.

This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19
813 64 Bratislava
Slovak Republic
(+421 2) 5292 1215
FAX (+421 2) 5292 1215

Organon F takes part on the long-term preservation of the digital cultural heritage carried out by the University Library in Bratislava.