New Philosopher

PROTESTS¡ WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR¿

In his 1979 article ‘Symbolic Protest and Calculated Silence’, Thomas E. Hill, Jr. asked a philosophically rich and pragmatically relevant question: Why would someone protest a serious injustice when the protest “cannot reasonably be expected to end the injustice?” Moreover, it may even cause some harm to the protester.

This question is quite different from the more , “Why protest?” Some might think that you protest in order to bring about reform, and there are many examples of social movements who have done just that. The Suffragists of the 19th and 20th centuries protested in order to gain voting rights; youth protested during

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