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Injury and Iterability-Can Hate Speech Be Legislated?

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Title: Injury and Iterability-Can Hate Speech Be Legislated?
Author: Whalen-Cohen, Helen
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 69958 bytes175968 bytes
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Court cases such as R.A.V. v. St. Paul and Doe v. University of Michigan, both of which struck down hate speech ordinances, raise questions not only about proper responses to hate speech, but also about the nature of language and whether language can ever be effectively controlled through legislation. In my essay, I first examine an argument in favor of hate speech ordinances made by Mari Matsuda. I then consider a critique of legislative responses to hate speech, suggested by Judith Butler. I use texts by J. L. Austin and Jacques Derrida as support for Matsuda and Butler’s arguments. My aim is not to definitely assert that one argument is stronger than another, but instead to propose a synthesis between the two, which might lead to a more effective response to hate speech in the future.
Subject: Hate speech -- United States
Subject: Freedom of speech -- United States
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Whalen-Cohen, Helen. "Injury and Iterability-Can Hate Speech Be Legislated?". 2008. Available electronically from

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