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Against "Hate Speech"

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 3:00 pm – 5:10 pm

“Hate Speech” is a misnomer, really. We should name the harmful speech in question by what it in fact does: it discriminates. The talk is an exercise in conceptual engineering: I’ll show what is wrong with the concept and term “hate speech” by identifying a number of functions this concept has been meant to serve, by arguing that extant concepts of hate speech haven’t served this function well. I will add some functions a concept of the relevant problematic speech should serve, and conclude by providing a definition of “discriminatory speech” that gives us a concept that serves these functions better.