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Academic Freedom$
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Jennifer Lackey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791508

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791508.001.0001

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When Protest and Speech Collide

When Protest and Speech Collide

Chapter:
(p.151) 9 When Protest and Speech Collide
Source:
Academic Freedom
Author(s):

David Estlund

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198791508.003.0009

Even when it is not violent, a disruptive public protest often raises our hackles. Even when it is not illegal, we might wonder whether it is morally justifiable. In particular, one of the ways a protest can be disruptive—interfering with the ability of others to speak or express themselves—might seem especially damning. Such speech-interfering protests are often vilified, as if they fly in the face of the principle of freedom of speech, or even of the Constitution itself. Ought a protest’s interfering with the speech of others to count morally against that protest—is it forbidden by a moral principle of free speech? While it will be morally wrong in many cases, the moral presumption against it, even in the setting of a college campus, is not as overwhelming as is often supposed.

Keywords:   freedom of speech, protest, First Amendment, campus politics, civility

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