Hate speech law can be found throughout the world. But it is also the subject
of numerous principled arguments, both for and against. These principles
invoke a host of morally relevant features (e.g., liberty, health, autonomy,
security, non-subordination, the absence of oppression, human dignity, the
discovery of truth, the acquisition of knowledge, self-realization, human
excellence, civic dignity, cultural diversity and choice, recognition of cultural
identity, intercultural dialogue, participation in democratic self-government,
being subject only to legitimate rule) and practical considerations (e.g., efficacy,
the least restrictive alternative, chilling effects). The book develops and
then critically examines these various principled arguments. It also attempts
to de-homogenize hate speech law into different clusters of laws/regulations/
codes that constrain uses of hate speech, so as to facilitate a more nuanced
examination of the principled arguments. Finally, it argues that it is morally
fitting for judicial and legislative judgments about the overall warrant of
hate speech law to reflect principled compromise. Principled compromise is
characterized not merely by compromise over matters of principled concern
but also by compromise, which is itself governed by ideals of moral duty or
civic virtue (e.g., reciprocity, equality, mutual respect).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages392
ISBN (Print)0415885477
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy


  • hate speech law
  • Jurisprudence

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