Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Freedom of Speech$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eric Barendt

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199225811.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 January 2021

Why Protect Free Speech?

Why Protect Free Speech?

(p.1) I Why Protect Free Speech?
Freedom of Speech


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the nature of a free speech principle and explores the coherence of four justifications for that principle: arguments concerned with the importance of discovering truth, free speech as an aspect of self-fulfilment, the argument from citizen participation in a democracy, and suspicion of government. Each of these arguments emphasises the interests of either the speaker or the audience, or perhaps that of the public in an open tolerant society. Therefore, the free speech interests of speakers, recipients (listeners, readers, and viewers), and the general public in the unimpeded communication of information and ideas are considered. These distinctions may have legal significance. Some texts confer rights on both speakers and recipients, while others provide only for freedom of speech or expression, without making it clear whether both groups enjoy rights.

Keywords:   free speech, constitutional protection, discovering truth, self-fulfilment, citizen participation, democracy, hate speech, pluralism, suspicion

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .