v8 n8: Tomhave and Vopat Respond to Davis on Boycotts

Boycotts and Silencing, by Alan Tomhave and Mark Vopat

A RESPONSE TO Jeremy V. Davis (2020), “Boycotts, Expressive Acts, and Withdrawal of Support”, Bus Ethics J Rev 8(3): 14–19, https://wp.me/p2x7zx-pd


Jeremy Davis offered critical comments on our article that argued some boycotts are pro tanto morally wrong. We argued against organized boycotts over expressive acts where the actor is attempting to engage in the market place of ideas. Davis offered two versions of a direct objection to our position – one that boycotts are not attempts to silence and one that boycotts do not cause a chilling effect – and one objection based on reframing the goals of boycotts. In this Response, we argue that Davis’s direct objections are unsound and his reframing objection is consistent with our initial position.

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Alan Tomhave is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Interim Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Youngstown State University. Mark Vopat is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Dr. James Dale Ethics Center at Youngstown State University.

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