Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/15/2009
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Voltaire's comment--"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"--is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech. Yet it is rare to find someone prepared to defend all freedom of speech, especially if the views expressed are obnoxious or obviously false. So where do we draw the line? How important is our right to freedom of speech? In this accessible and up-to-date Very Short Introduction, Nigel Warburton covers a wide range of controversial free-speech issues, from Holocaust denial and pornography to the status of modern copyright law. The book offers a concise guide to many of the vexing issues concerning our right to speak freely, including: Should a civilized society set limits on freedom of speech? How can we balance free speech with the sensitivities of religious and minority groups? How have digital technology and the Internet changed the debate?

Author Biography

Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Philosophy: the Basics (4th ed.) which has sold approximately 100,000 copies and has been translated into a dozen languages, Thinking from A to Z (2nd ed), Freedom: an Introduction with Readings, Philosophy: the Classics (3rd ed.), The Art Question, and many more. He teaches for the Tate Modern (including courses on the philosophy of art, and on photography) and regularly writes and broadcasts in the media on a range of topics.

Table of Contents

Free Speech
A Free Market in Ideas?
Giving and Taking Offence
Censoring Pornography
Free Speech in the Age of the Internet
Conclusion: The Future of Free Speech
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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