No-platforming and higher-order evidence, or anti-anti-no-platforming

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


No-platforming—the refusal to allow those who espouse views seen as inflammatory the opportunity to speak in certain forums—is very controversial. Proponents typically cite the possibility of harms to disadvantaged groups and, sometimes, epistemically paternalistic considerations. Opponents invoke the value of free speech and respect for intellectual autonomy in favor of more open speech, arguing that the harms that might arise from bad speech are best addressed by rebuttal, not silencing. In this article, I argue that there is a powerful consideration in favor of no-platforming some speakers: allowing them a platform generates genuine higher-order evidence in favor of their claims. When that higher-order evidence would be misleading, we may reasonably believe it should not be generated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-502
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • no-platforming
  • higher-order evidence
  • paternalism

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