Speech and Silencing

Authored by: Ishani Maitra

The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138795921
eBook ISBN: 9781315758152
Adobe ISBN:


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A recurring concern within feminist philosophy of language has been with the ways in which women (and others) are systematically disadvantaged qua language users. There are several dimensions to this kind of disadvantage, but one that has particularly interested theorists is silencing. It is clear that a speaker can be silenced by being prevented from uttering words. But what about a speaker who is able to say something? In recent years, several theorists have argued that such a speaker may also be silenced, if they are prevented from doing certain things with their words. Call this “silencing in the broad sense.” This chapter explores several different conceptions of silencing in this sense. It also asks when some related phenomena should be regarded as further kinds of silencing.

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