Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Ishani Maitra PhD

Ishani Maitra imageThe Sound of Silencing

Thursday, March 8
3:30-5:30 pm
Commons Lecture Hall
Refreshments provided

In recent years, theorists (including Catharine MacKinnon, Rae Langton, and others) have claimed that a speaker can be silenced (by pornography, by hate speech, by political propaganda) even when she is able to utter words, and further, that this silencing is, at least sometimes, an infringement of her right to free speech. In this talk, I distinguish several different senses of silencing, and argue that only some of these can plausibly be regarded as infringements of a right to free speech. But I also argue that, regardless of whether silencing in any of these senses does constitute such an infringement, it is crucial that we recognize the distinct sorts of injustice that result when speakers are silenced.

About Ishani Maitra

Ishani Maitra is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women's & Gender Studies at Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick). Her research interests are in philosophy of language (assertion, context-dependence), epistemology (testimony), feminist philosophy (silencing, subordination, sexual violence), and philosophy of law (right to free speech, rape law).