Synthese 199 (3-4):7231-7253 (2021)

Uwe Peters
Universität Bonn
‘No-platforming’—the practice of denying someone the opportunity to express their opinion at certain venues because of the perceived abhorrent or misguided nature of their view—is a hot topic. Several philosophers have advanced epistemic reasons for using the policy in certain cases. Here we introduce epistemic considerations against no-platforming that are relevant for the reflection on the cases at issue. We then contend that three recent epistemic arguments in favor of no-platforming fail to factor these considerations in and, as a result, offer neither a conclusive justification nor strong epistemic support for no-platforming in any of the relevant cases. Moreover, we argue that, taken together, our epistemic considerations against no-platforming and the three arguments for the policy suggest that no-platforming poses an epistemic dilemma. While advocates and opponents of no-platforming alike have so far overlooked this dilemma, it should be addressed not only to prevent that actual no-platforming decisions create more epistemic harm than good, but also to put us into a better position to justify the policy when it is indeed warranted.
Keywords no-platforming  social epistemology  academic freedom  testimony
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03111-w
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Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin I. Goldman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):185-190.
On Bullshit.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1986 - Princeton University Press.
A (Different) Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):1-26.

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