Jonathan Rauch writes, “It is not good to offend people, but it is necessary. A no offense society is a no knowledge society”. In this presentation Dr. Shane Courtland will examine one aspect of the problem of offensive speech, namely whether it is appropriate to silence views that attempt to undermine the dignity of marginalized groups.
Dr. Courtland will argue that we should not silence the expression of these offensive views. Often when educators try to shield students from offensive views, they compromise the attainment of knowledge. To know something requires that one be familiar with, and perhaps even seriously entertain, falsehoods. The censuring of even racist viewpoints would also have the unintended consequence of undermining the ability of marginalized groups to reply to bigoted arguments.
Dr. Shane D. Courtland received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Tulane University and is currently employed as the Managing Director of Academic Relations at the Institute for Humane Studies. Previously, Dr. Courtland served as the Managing Director of the Center for Free Enterprise at West Virginia University.
Dr. Courtland’s publications have appeared in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of Environmental Philosophy, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Journal of Mind and Behavior, Southwest Philosophy Review, Hobbes Studies, Reason Papers, Utilitas, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge’s The Value and Limits of Academic Speech: Philosophical, Political, and Legal Perspectives, Routledge’s American Philosophy: an Encyclopedia, Routledge’s Political Ethics, Wiley-Blackwell’s The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy Book, and Wiley-Blackwell’s House of Cards and Philosophy. He also published an edited volume, Hobbesian Applied Ethics and Public Policy (Routledge 2017).
This Sunday, February 6, 2022, we will meet in person at Somers Lounge within the campus of the College of St. Scholastica. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the festivities begin at 10:00. For extra safety, we’ll be social distancing (four to a table) and remaining masked. Luckily, there’s plenty of room at the venue to spread out. After announcements, a five-minute reflection, Shane’s presentation and Q&A, we’ll go downstairs for brunch and discussion in the student cafeteria. We’ll save you a seat!
If for any reason you will not be attending this presentation in person, try clicking on the Zoom icon below to begin a live stream of the event.