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Dignity, Harm, and Hate Speech

Simpson, Robert Mark; (2013) Dignity, Harm, and Hate Speech. Law and Philosophy , 32 (6) pp. 701-728. 10.1007/s10982-012-9164-z. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines two recent contributions to the hate speech literature - by Steven Heyman and Jeremy Waldron - which seek a justification for the legal restriction of hate speech in an account of the way that hate speech infringes against people's dignity. These analyses look beyond the first-order hurts and disadvantages suffered by the immediate targets of hate speech, and consider the prospect of hate speech sustaining complex social structures whose wide-scale operations lower the social status of members of targeted groups. In Heyman's and Waldron's accounts we find plausible insights into the nature of identity-based social hierarchies, and the harms that redound to subordinated people under the operations of such hierarchies. I argue, however, that both analyses are unsuccessful as justifications for the restriction of hate speech, because they do not ultimately provide reason to think that hate speech is responsible for creating or sustaining identity-based social hierarchies.

Type: Article
Title: Dignity, Harm, and Hate Speech
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10982-012-9164-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-012-9164-z
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10181249
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