The Free Speech Argument against Pornography

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):391 - 422 (2003)

Authors
Caroline West
University of Sydney
Abstract
It is widely held that free speech is a distinctive and privileged social kind. But what is free speech? In particular, is there any unified phenomenon that is both free speech and which is worthy of the special value traditionally attached to free speech? We argue that a descendent of the classic Millian justification of free speech is in fact a justification of a more general social condition; and, via an argument that 'free speech' names whatever natural social kind is justified by the best arguments, that free speech is therefore this more general condition. This condition involves not merely the orthodox freedom (in some sense) of speakers to distribute words, but also two less frequently acknowledged dimensions of free speech: audience understanding and consideration. We conclude with some discussion of the policy implications of this conception of free speech.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.2003.10716549
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References found in this work BETA

Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts.Rae Langton - 1993 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (4):293-330.
Free Speech and Illocution.Rae Langton & Jennifer Hornsby - 1998 - Legal Theory 4 (1):21-37.
Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game.Rae Langton & Caroline West - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):303 – 319.
Freedom of Speech Acts? A Response to Langton.Daniel Jacobson - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (1):64-78.
Speech Acts and Pornography.Jennifer Hornsby - 1993 - Women’s Philosophy Review 10:38-45.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Silencing Speech.Ishani Maitra - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 309-338.
Differentiating Hate Speech: A Systemic Discrimination Approach.Katharine Gelber - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.
Oppressive Speech.Mary Kate McGowan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):389 – 407.
Silencing Without Convention.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):573-598.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

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