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Hate Speech and Authentic Personhood: Unveiling the Truth

Nicholas Uchechukwu Asogwa and Michael Emeka Onwuama

SAGE Open, 2021, vol. 11, issue 1, 21582440211005772

Abstract: We often think that individuals should live their lives in ways they are convinced are most appropriate to their self-understanding and beliefs. However, we equally think that this idea of living according to one’s convictions and self-understanding does not mean endorsement of forms of speech that injure the person and dignity of others. So far, the debate on hate speech has revolved around the justification of its protection and prohibition. In this article, we examine the idea of hate speech through the lens of authentic personhood, the foundation upon which most arguments for and against speech restriction are based. The aim is to demonstrate that the state restricting speech may be as justified as the one protecting it, seeing that in reality, hate speech both violates and vindicates authentic personhood. Given the nature and structure of “autonomy†and “speech,†a balancing approach to free expression and equality is preferable to outright protection or prohibition of hate speech.

Keywords: hate speech; authenticity; personhood; dignity; freedom of expression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/21582440211005772

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Handle: RePEc:sae:sagope:v:11:y:2021:i:1:p:21582440211005772