- free speech
- Liberal constitutions accept some principle of protection of free speech, but its scope and rationale are contested. Speech may include various forms of expression: displaying paintings, wearing political slogans, or burning flags, for example. On the other hand, some forms of speech (shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre; ordering or encouraging a person to use violence on another) seem to deserve no special legal protection. The main positive argument for special protection of free speech is that this protection generates special benefits, either promoting the discovery of truth and error, or serving as a necessary part of educated political decision-making. A negative argument is that the harms caused by speech are somehow less significant than those caused by other actions (‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’). Or, if harm does ensue, it may be that the hearer bears some responsibility, for instance by being disposed to particular kinds of sensitivity. This, however, is contested. A principled argument for free speech is that silencing someone is a particular trespass against their dignity and against the respect due to a free agent. A pragmatic argument for the principle is that speech is an area in which states are particularly tempted to illiberal intrusion.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.
Look at other dictionaries:
free speech — n 1: speech that is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution setting off an alarm bell is not free speech A. M. Dershowitz 2: freedom of speech an unconstitutional restraint on free speech … Law dictionary
Free Speech TV — (FSTV) is a free satellite television station in the United States founded in 1995. Its roots extend back to 1989 with The 90 s public television series and The 90 s Channel cable network. Mission statement Free Speech TV s mission statement… … Wikipedia
free speech|er — «SPEE chuhr», U.S. a person who agitates for free speech, as at a college or university … Useful english dictionary
free speech — noun uncount FREEDOM OF SPEECH … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
free speech — free′ speech′ n. gov freedom of speech • Etymology: 1840–50, amer … From formal English to slang
free speech — noun Date: 1781 speech that is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; also the right to such speech < an unconstitutional restraint on free speech National Law Journal > … New Collegiate Dictionary
free speech — /fri ˈspitʃ / (say free speech) noun the right to express oneself and impart one s opinions in speech or writing or any form of public media. Also, freedom of speech … Australian English dictionary
free speech. — See freedom of speech. [1840 50, Amer.] * * * … Universalium
free speech — UK / US noun [uncountable] freedom of speech … English dictionary
free speech. — See freedom of speech. [1840 50, Amer.] … Useful english dictionary