Free speech, privacy, and autonomy

Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):31-51 (2020)
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Abstract

While autonomy arguments provide a compelling foundation for free speech, they also support individual privacy rights. Considering how speech and privacy may be justified, I will argue that the speech necessary for self-government does not need to include details that would violate privacy rights. Additionally, I will argue that if viewed as a kind of intangible property right, informational privacy should limit speech and expression in a range of cases. In a world where we have an overabundance of content to consume, much of which could be called “information pollution,” and where there are numerous platforms to broadcast one’s expressions, it is increasingly difficult to maintain that speech should trump privacy.

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Adam Moore
University of Washington

References found in this work

Why privacy is important.James Rachels - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 4 (4):323-333.
The right to privacy.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1975 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 4 (4):295-314.
A theory of freedom of expression.Thomas Scanlon - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (2):204-226.
Personal Rights and Public Space.Thomas Nagel - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (2):83-107.
Privacy, intimacy, and personhood.Jeffrey Reiman - 1976 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (1):26-44.

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