London Lectures

Prejudicial Speech: What’s A Liberal To Do?

What is prejudicial speech? What remedies exist, and are they compatible with free speech? This talk discusses potential responses to harmful prejudicial speech.

Part of the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s 2022 London Lectures series, Words and Worlds.

This talk discusses potential responses to harmful prejudicial speech. More specifically, it considers how different types of prejudicial speech merit divergent responses.

Mari Mikkola distinguishes hate speech, discriminatory speech, and toxic speech as different types of speech that are prejudicial or oppressive – they are not all of the same kind differing only in their severity and explicitness.

As these sorts of problematic speech are categorically distinct, Mikkola holds they also demand differential remedies. The task of this talk is to consider such remedies, their potential effectiveness, and compatibility with the liberal value of free speech.

  • Speaker

    Mari Mikkola is a Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Metaphysics at the University of Amsterdam. Her areas of expertise are in feminist philosophy, particularly feminist metaphysics and pornography debates in philosophy. In addition, Mikkola's current work deals with philosophical methodology and conceptions of hate speech. She has published extensively on these topics being the sole author of two books (The Wrong of Injustice: Dehumanization and Its Role in Feminist Philosophy and Pornography: A Philosophical Introduction, both with Oxford University Press) and of several articles on feminist philosophy, social ontology, and pornography. Prior to coming to Amsterdam, she has worked at the University of Oxford/ Somerville College, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Lancaster University, and University of Stirling.