Can Speech Kill?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What is it

Free speech is one of the core tenets of our democracy. We’re inclined to think that more speech is always better. Although the Supreme Court has outlined some minor restrictions to our right to free speech, the most courts are willing to admit is that speech can lead to violence—it cannot itself do violence. But is it possible for speech to do both? If hate speech is used against a marginalized group, couldn’t the speech act literally do harm? And how does the answer to this question affect our commitment to free speech in a liberal democracy? The Philosophers do no harm with Lynne Tirrell from the University of Connecticut, author of “Genocidal Language Games.”

Comments (2)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Monday, December 11, 2017 -- 11:30 AM

Hate Speech and Other Forms of Verbal Assault...

Free speech is a mixed blessing. Even the founding fathers (who patterned much of their thinking after Enlightenment thinkers) knew that they were opening a can of worms. But, better to have worms than have nothing at all. I think the spate of juvenile suicide we have seen of late shows just how dangerous words can become. Children get verbally bullied, on line and in person. They feels there is no one who can help them. These circumstances are sufficient to marginalize them, and, they commit suicide or take guns to school, with (or without) murderous intent. There is no question that we have a problem here. One that clearly needs solutions...

Mercurywoodrose's picture

Mercurywoodrose

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 -- 12:24 PM

Speech and death

Yes speech can kill .the perfect example is a death penalty order from the government .the person who does the killing is called the executioner .he executes the order given by the state .all declared wars are started by speech your debate is mostly about non-state sanctioned death .all state sanctioned death begins with words

 
 

Lynne Tirrell, Professor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut

 
 

Bonus Content

 

Research By

Mohit Mookim
 

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