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Hietalahti, Jarno, et al. "Insults, humour and freedom of speech." French Cultural Studies 27. (2016): 245–55. 
Added by: joachim (1/11/17, 2:06 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (1/11/17, 2:08 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1177/0957155816648091
BibTeX citation key: Hietalahti2016
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Charlie Hebdo", France, Humor, Kulturpolitik, Satire
Creators: Hietalahti, Hirvonen, Toivanen, Vaaja
Collection: French Cultural Studies
Views: 26/749
In this article we argue that freedom of speech should be understood as a social freedom. In the public discussion after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, it has often been understood as an absolute right to say anything – to offend, to make a fool of others and of oneself, and to express any opinion regardless of the consequences. We challenge this view and propose that advocating freedom of speech without understanding its social foundations is misleading and counterproductive. Based on the critical social theories of Erich Fromm, Charles Taylor and Axel Honneth, we show that there is an alternative tradition in which freedom is fundamentally rooted in social relations and therefore requires respect for others. We argue that interpreting freedom of speech as a social freedom avoids some of the problems apparent in current discussions. In addition, our position has significant practical consequences on how humour and insults should be understood.
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