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Knowledge in a Social World$
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Alvin I. Goldman

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198238207.001.0001

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Speech Regulation and the Marketplace of Ideas

Speech Regulation and the Marketplace of Ideas

Chapter:
(p.189) Seven Speech Regulation and the Marketplace of Ideas
Source:
Knowledge in a Social World
Author(s):

Alvin I. Goldman (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198238207.003.0007

A classical rationale for the freedom of speech, traceable to John Milton and John Stuart Mill, is the argument that truth will emerge in an open marketplace of ideas. Given an economic twist, it is claimed that the competitive market for speech will maximize truth just as competitive markets in other goods are best in economic terms. If government does not interfere with this market, knowledge will be maximized. Is economic theory sustaining this argument? No, this chapter traces the reasons why no such simple formula for the (non‐) regulation of speech is implied by economic theory, especially when market failures are taken into account.

Keywords:   free speech, marketplace of ideas, John Stuart Mill, John Milton, speech regulation

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