Synthese:1-23 (forthcoming)

Uwe Peters
Universität Bonn
‘No-platforming’ – the practice of denying subjects the opportunity to express their opinion at certain venues because of the perceived abhorrent or misguided nature of their views – is a hot topic. Several philosophers have advanced epistemic reasons for using the policy in certain cases. Here we introduce epistemic considerations against noplatforming 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.
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.
A (Different) Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):1-26.
On Bullshit.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1986 - Princeton University Press.

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