Weighing the costs: the epistemic dilemma of no-platforming.
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Peters, U., & Nottelmann, N. (2021). Weighing the costs: the epistemic dilemma of no-platforming.. Synthese, 199 (3-4), 7231-7253. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03111-w
Funder: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (1040)
'No-platforming'-the practice of denying someone the opportunity to express their opinion at certain venues because of the perceived abhorrent or misguided nature of their view(s)-is a hot topic. Several philosophers have advanced epistemic reasons for using the policy in certain cases. Here we introduce epistemic considerations against no-platforming that are relevant for the reflection on the cases at issue. We then contend that three recent epistemic arguments in favor of no-platforming fail to factor these considerations in and, as a result, offer neither a conclusive justification nor strong epistemic support for no-platforming in any of the relevant cases. Moreover, we argue that, taken together, our epistemic considerations against no-platforming and the three arguments for the policy suggest that no-platforming poses an epistemic dilemma (i.e., a difficult choice situation involving two equally undesirable options). While advocates and opponents of no-platforming alike have so far overlooked this dilemma, it should be addressed not only to prevent that actual no-platforming decisions create more epistemic harm than good, but also to put us into a better position to justify the policy when it is indeed warranted.
Article, No-platforming, Social epistemology, Free speech, Testimony
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03111-w
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/331900