Defining Feinberg 's Offence Principle And Hate Speech By R Cohen Almagor
1125 WordsJun 6, 20155 Pages
To answer the above question I will start by defining Feinberg’s Offence Principle and explain why it is proposed to help fill the potential gaps in Mill’s Harm Principle. Then by using an argument Mill himself used in On Liberty, I will attempt to show why I believe The Offence principle actually goes to far.
Feinberg advocates that the Harm Principle ‘cannot shoulder all the work necessary for the principle of free speech’. He believes the Harm Principle does not go far enough in protecting people. The law, he believes, needs to take into account serious offence, as a key factor in determining what type of speech should be prohibited.
Let us look at a brief explanation of what this offence entails. To do this I have made use of the article Harm Principle, Offence Principle and Hate Speech by R Cohen-Almagor . In this article Cohen-Almagor begins by setting out that Feinberg uses the word offence in both a normative sense and a general sense. Normative defined, as ‘all of the miscellany of disliked mental states’ like disgust, shame, hurt, anxiety and so on. General, in the sense that these states are caused by others conduct. Feinberg postulates that offence takes place when (1) ‘one suffers a disliked state, and (2) one attributes that state to the wrongful conduct of others, and (3) one resents the other in his role in causing one to be in that state’. So simply put one can for example, be offended if one is deeply hurt by another’s speech.
After he has defined