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Sticks and StonesThe Philosophy of Insults$
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Jerome Neu

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314311

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314311.001.0001

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INSULT IN THE LAW

INSULT IN THE LAW

FIGHTING WORDS, OBSCENITY, AND HATE SPEECH

Chapter:
(p.137) SIX INSULT IN THE LAW
Source:
Sticks and Stones
Author(s):

Jerome Neu (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314311.003.0006

Because speech can also be conduct, words deeds, the First Amendment cannot provide blanket protection for all offensive speech. This is especially true for what J.L. Austin calls “performative utterances.” We must try to be clear on the principles at stake‐‐as claims to freedom of speech meet claims of self‐defense and provocation‐‐as we seek to draw legal boundaries to control fighting words, obscenity, and hate speech.

Keywords:   law, speech, conduct, First Amendment, offensive, J.L. Austin, performative utterances, fighting words, obscenity, hate speech, principles, freedom, self‐defense, provocation

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