Freedom of communicative action

Northwestern University Law Review 83 (1):54-135 (1989)
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Abstract

The thesis of "Freedom of Communicative Action" is that Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action illuminated the deep structure of the First Amendment freedom of speech. Haberams's theory takes speech act theory as its point of departure. Communicative action coordinates indivudal behavior through rational understanding. Communicative action is distinguished from strategic action--the use of communication to manipulate, deceive, or coerce. Part I offers an introduction. Part II outlines a hermeneutic approach to interpretation of the First Amendent. Part III explores and criticizes existing theories of the freedom of speech. Part IV explicates Habermas's theory of communicative action. Part V developes a theory of the freedom of expression based on Habermas's theory of communication. Part VI applies that theory to particular problems in free speech doctrine. Part VII draws some conclusions about the implications of this exercise for the development of doctrine and the theory of communicative action. "Freedom of Communicative Action" was published in 1989, and some of the views expressed in the article are no longer affirmed by the author.

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Lawrence B. Solum
Georgetown University

Citations of this work

A Model for Free Speech.Daniel Weston - 2022 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (6):2211-2240.
Introduction: Law in Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action.Mathieu Deflem - 1994 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 20 (4):1-20.
Habermas, Modernity and Law: A Bibliography.Mathieu Deflem - 1994 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 20 (4):151-166.
Introduction: Law in Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action.Mathieu Deflem - 1994 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 20 (4):1-20.

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