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Philosophy Talk

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Are some words so hateful and disrespectful that no decent person should ever use them?

Some words, like n****r, ch*nk, and c*nt, are so forbidden that we won't even spell them out here. Decent people simply don't use these words to refer to others; they are intrinsically disrespectful. But aren't words just strings of sounds or letters? Words have life because they express ideas. But in a free society, how can we prohibit the expression of ideas? How can we forbid words? Where does the strange power of curses, epithets, and scatological terms come from? John and Ken avoid mincing words with Chris Hom from Texas Tech University, author of "Hating and Necessity: The Semantics of Racial Epithets" (forthcoming).

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Product Information:

Media TypeAudio
Number of Programs1
FormatMP3

Programs:

Program Title Duration
Forbidden Words 50:32
Total Time 50:32

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