Free speech is an often-invoked principle to justify vitriolic and hateful rhetoric against racial and religious groups. However, the philosophical argument for free speech does not necessarily support the form in which the principle of free speech is being invoked in these cases. Furthermore, current research suggests that the issue here is not about the principle of free speech as much as it about the ability to express biased attitudes without having to face consequences.
Topics addressed in this episode include the nature of free speech, why it must be defended in terms of the function it is intended to serve in civil society, and how the principle of free speech is deployed by racists who are defending other racists.
Articles cited in this episode:
Freedom of Speech (Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/
Freedome of Racist Speech: Ego and Expressive Threats http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/fulltext/2017-17075-001.html
Research shows prejudice, not principle, often underpins ‘free-speech defense’ of racist language https://news.ku.edu/2017/05/01/research-shows-prejudice-not-principle-often-underpins-free-speech-defense-racist