Free Speech, Hate Speech, and Civil Disobedience


What justifies free speech? When can it be limited legitimately? What justifies civil disobedience? Is violent resistance ever justified? Answering these questions will constitute the key work of this course. Students will debate these questions by confronting key works in political philosophy and by thinking through how these theoretical questions come up in debates over: the regulation of pornography and hate speech, the ridiculing of religious figures, and the use of violence to protest unjust policies. Readings include works: Mill, Locke, King, Langton, Waldron, Shelby and Rawls. Instructor: Kirshner
Curriculum Codes
  • EI
  • SS
Typically Offered