Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Free Speech Skepticism.

Authors
  • Brison, Susan J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
101–132
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1353/ken.2021.0008
PMID: 34120950
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

If the free speech clause of the First Amendment is interpreted to mean that speech is to be granted special protection not accorded to other forms of conduct, then a free speech principle, distinct from a principle of general liberty, must be posited and must receive a distinct justification. A defense of a free speech principle must explain why the harm principle either does not apply in the case of speech or applies with less force than in the case of all other forms of human conduct. In this article, I argue that none of the defenses of the right to free speech on offer succeeds in showing why even significantly harmful speech is deserving of special protection not afforded non-speech conduct. More work needs to be done to justify a free speech principle and, until such work is done, the belief in the existence of a free speech principle that undergirds and justifies our current free speech practices is no more than an article of faith.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times