Introduction and Overview

Ishani Maitra and Mary Kate McGowan

in Speech and Harm

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199236282
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741357 | DOI:
Introduction and Overview

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This chapter explores the nature and value of a principle of free speech. It is often argued that certain kinds of speech are harmful. But such claims give rise to several questions. First, when a kind of speech is harmful, what are the harms in question? Second, how does the speech bring about these harms? Third, and perhaps most crucially, what ought to be done about these harms, in the context of a continuing commitment to free speech? The chapter surveys possible answers to each of these questions, and introduces several distinctions that are key to understanding these answers. Finally, questions about the scope of a free speech principle are motivated. Along the way, the chapters in this collection are located with respect to the debates surrounding speech and harm, and a guide to using this collection as the basis for a course is offered.

Keywords: harm; free speech; regulation of speech; standards of scrutiny; balancing of harms; subordination; discrimination; silencing; pornography; hate speech

Chapter.  10162 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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