Authors
Mari Mikkola
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
This paper considers Tirrell’s analysis of toxic speech using examples epitomising speech that are misleading, outright false, and without compelling justification. They are toxic in polluting and eroding democratic functioning. However, I argue that Tirrell’s two epidemiological models (the common source model exemplified by poisons, and the propagated transmission model that viruses exemplify) fail to make good sense of my examples, which are deeply insidious without being overtly invidious. The limitations of the epidemiological models suggest that toxicity is part of our default form of thinking and talking, rather than being an ‘outside’ pathology like a poison or a virus.
Keywords toxic speech, oppressive speech
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DOI 10.1093/arisup/akab004
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Discursive Epidemiology: Two Models.Lynne Tirrell - 2021 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 95 (1):115-142.

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