Philosophy Colloquium: Should the First Amendment Protect Hate Speech?

Posted on 3/21/2017 8:41:44 AM

The Philosophy Department is pleased to announce that John Ramsey (IUP) will give a talk titled “Should the First Amendment Protect Hate Speech?” on Friday, March 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, room 224. 

In a series of colloquia this semester, the IUP Philosophy Department will provide philosophical analyses of different aspects of our current political situation. The aim is to show how philosophical reflection can be helpful in making sense of recent political events and to provide a forum for members of the IUP community to engage in thoughtful discussion on the state of American politics.

In this talk, Ramsey will discuss three widespread theories about the purpose of free speech—as a marketplace of ideas, as facilitating democratic self-government, and as essential for developing individual autonomy. He will then explore how some hate speech oppresses its targets and argue that, according to each of these theories, oppressive speech does not merit First Amendment protection.