Freedom of speech in liberal and non-liberal traditions

Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (4):460-472 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Philosophy & Social Criticism, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 460-472, May 2022. The article presents different theories and comparative analyses of freedom of speech in both liberal and non-liberal traditions. Whereas freedom of speech is not an absolute right, the question is if this right should depend wholly on the truth of the respective opinion or statement. Theories that justify free speech on the grounds of autonomy, tend to make truth a moral requirement of speech. Theories based on civility and public reason do restrict freedom of speech even further, often making a form of recognition a precondition of free speech. This reveals to be particularly relevant in multicultural contexts and discussions about blasphemy. From this overview of contemporary, global comparative debates on free speech, the article draws some conclusions. First, there should be the absolute primacy of free speech regarding governments and the powerful: Speak truth to power. Second, free speech should underlie no constraints where important individual rights are at stake. Third, academic freedom has a special status and should not be subject to the same limits as freedom of expression more generally. Forth, in civil society and the public sphere a more moderate approach to free speech should be adopted based on civility, public reason and recognition. Yet, any limits should be of moral and not legal nature.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,468

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Freedom of speech in liberal and non-liberal traditions.Volker Kaul - 2022 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (4):460-472.
Two concepts of “liberal education”.Stefan Lorenz Sorgner - 2004 - Ethic@: An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 3 (2):107–119.
Republican freedom and the rule of law.Christian List - 2006 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 5 (2):201-220.
Liberalism or Immigration Restrictions, But Not Both.Javier Hidalgo & Christopher Freiman - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2):1-22.
Liberalism's divide, after socialism and before.Jacob T. Levy - 2003 - Social Philosophy and Policy 20 (1):278-297.
Spinoza’s Liberalism.Matthew J. Kisner - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (11):782-793.
Liberal and Republican Freedom.Boudewijn de Bruin - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4):418-439.
The levellers and the birth of liberal political economy.James R. Otteson - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (1):170-189.
Cultural Institutions, Theatre and Humanistic Liberal Education.J. Scott Lee - 2016 - Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 28 (1-2):152-171.
Federalism and the old and new liberalisms.Jacob T. Levy - 2007 - Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (1):306-326.
Freedom as Independence.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):1043–1074.
Liberalism and Toleration.Jon Mahoney - 2020 - In Johannes Drerup and Gottfried Schweiger (ed.), Toleration and the Challenges to Liberalism. Routledge.
Liberal Values vs. Liberal Social Philosophy.Nicholas Capaldi - 1990 - Philosophy and Theology 4 (3):283-296.
The politics of religious freedom.Jon Mahoney - 2017 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 43 (6):551-570.


Added to PP

16 (#743,036)

6 months
5 (#192,385)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references