Speaking with (Subordinating) Authority

Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):240-257 (2016)
Michael Randall Barnes
Georgetown University
In “Subordinating Speech,” Ishani Maitra defends the claim that ordinary instances of hate speech can sometimes constitute subordination. While she accepts that subordinating speech requires authority, she argues that ordinary speakers can acquire this authority via a process of “licensing.” I believe this account is interestingly mistaken, and in this paper I develop an alternative account. In particular, I take issue with what I see as the highly localized character of Maitra’s account, which effectively divorces the subordinating authority of ordinary hate speech from the broader normative context, including social and pragmatic features that I claim play essential roles in subordination.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Social and Political Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0037-802X
DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract201642214
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