Stigmatized Words: A Defense of Political Correctness


The debate over political correctness and the repression of speech has experienced a resurgence in the 2016 election season. “Political correctness is killing people,” Senator Ted Cruz remarked in December 2015. This thesis explores the liberal justification for the repressing politically incorrect speech and challenges the association of expressive freedom with truth, a position linked to John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of liberty and George Orwell’s denunciation of political speech. Reflecting contemporary postmodern views on language and liberation, I ultimately defend political correctness as a way to reflect social stigmatization, render stigmatized words more visible, and enhance linguistic agency

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