Democratic freedom of expression

Open Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):380-390 (2013)
Abstract
This paper suggests the democratic direction in which the right of freedom of expression should be conceived and applied. In the first two sections it suggests some counter-examples to, and diagnoses of, the libertarian and liberal conceptions of freedom of expression, taking Scanlon (1972) and Scanlon (1979), respectively, to be their chief proponents. The paper suggests that these conceptions cannot take into account clear examples, like fraudulent propaganda, which should not be legal. The democratic conception takes it to heart that the pillars upon which the right of freedom of expression is founded are individual and collective autonomy, the right to know facts of public interest and information necessary for effective democratic control of government. The paper suggests that in a time when private powers seriously threaten these pillars, it is correct for the government to step in to provide the framework in which genuine discussion geared toward fulfilling the objectives of these pillars can take place.
Keywords democracy  freedom of expression  social choice  information
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