Weighing the Costs: the epistemic dilemma of no-platforming

Uwe Peters*, Nikolaj Nottelmann

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Abstrakt

‘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(s)—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 (i.e., a difficult choice situation involving two equally undesirable options). 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.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSynthese
ISSN0039-7857
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 27. mar. 2021

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