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Speech and Harm – Controversies Over Free Speech - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech

Ishani Maitra and Mary Kate McGowan


Most liberal societies are deeply committed to a principle of free speech. At the same time, however, there is evidence that some kinds of speech are harmful in ways that are detrimental to important liberal values, such as social equality. Might a genuine commitment to free speech require that we legally permit speech even when it is harmful, and even when doing so is in conflict with our commitment to values like equality? Even if such speech is to be legally permitted, does our commitment to free speech allow us to provide material and institutional support to those who would contest such h ... More

Keywords: free speech, social equality, legal regulation, pornography, hate speech, Holocaust, denial literature, Whites Only

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199236282
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236282.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ishani Maitra, editor
Rutgers University, Newark and New Brunswick

Mary Kate McGowan, editor
Wellesley College