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The Limits of the Rights to Free Thought and Expression.

Authors
  • Emerick, Barrett
Type
Published Article
Journal
Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
133–152
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1353/ken.2021.0009
PMID: 34120951
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

It is often held that people have a moral right to believe and say whatever they want. For instance, one might claim that they have a right to believe racist things as long as they keep those thoughts to themselves. Or, one might claim that they have a right to pursue any scholarly question they want as long as they do so with a civil tone. This paper rejects those claims and argues that no one has such unlimited moral rights. Part 1 explores the value of the freedoms of thought and expression. Part 2 argues against the unlimited moral right to free expression, focusing in particular on the special obligations and moral constraints that obtain for academics. Part 3 argues against the unlimited moral right to free thought.

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