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Academic Freedom$
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Jennifer Lackey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791508

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791508.001.0001

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Two Concepts of Free Speech

Two Concepts of Free Speech

Chapter:
(p.61) 4 Two Concepts of Free Speech
Source:
Academic Freedom
Author(s):

Philip Pettit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198791508.003.0004

Free speech is sometimes conceptualized as unhindered speech, sometimes as protected speech. On the first view, the protection of the law is just one of many possible means for removing hindrances to speech; on the second it is essential. Free speech is better conceptualized in the second way, albeit the first has become more popular in jurisprudence and politics. In that second conception, you cannot enjoy free speech by the gift or tolerance or indifference of others: to enjoy it is to have the robustly entrenched rights of a free speaker. That ideal fits better with traditional assumptions and has more compelling credentials. Let the right to speak be legally protected and speakers gain a publicly marked status as persons with opinions of their own; silence becomes enfranchised, so that someone’s saying nothing can say a lot; and people cannot easily duck responsibility for what they choose to say or not to say. To illustrate them with a case study, these are benefits that argue, in the context of a suitable culture, for the importance of academic freedom.

Keywords:   free speech, protection, academic freedom, non-interference, non-domination

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