(Efficiently) blocking hate speech: non propositional contents, emotions, ideology

  • Emanuela Campisi
Keywords: hate speech, counter-speech, blocking, non-propositional contents, emotions, ideology


One of the challenges in dealing with hate speech is identifying efficient strategies to fight it. Among these strategies, Langton (2018) lists blocking, that is the public exposure of the falsehood, the fallacies and the presuppositions of the hate speech act. However, even if blocking is indeed useful, it is not always possible, and not only, as Langton explains, because addressees could not have the ability to promptly react. In fact, blocking a hate speech act could be impossible for at least three reasons: 1. non-propositional contents (i.e. metaphors) could make difficult to make the implicit explicit; 2. the strong emotions at stake could compromise the efficacy of blocking; 3. perpetrators of the hate speech act could not be aware of the underlying ideological assumptions of what they are saying. Using language to fight hatred is possible, then, but only in a broader scenario in which appropriate pragmatic competences are developed, in order to change an individual act of opposition into a rational and prolonged dialogue.


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How to Cite
Campisi, E. (2022) “(Efficiently) blocking hate speech: non propositional contents, emotions, ideology”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio. doi: 10.4396/SFL2021A30.