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Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 000-0199232350
ISBN-10: 0199232350
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"A very careful and efficient inspection of this area by discussing the central arguments as they are related to the idea of free speech while examining the need for limitations... The title will be great for students who have been newly introduced to the idea of free speech and need a to the point look at free speech without feeling overwhelmed by mounds of legal jargon... very well written and easy to read beginning to the topic of free speech. The organization of the book provided a straightforward discussion that readers could follow effortlessly... I found Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction to provide exactly what the title series set out to accomplish by introducing the free speech in a brief and easy to read format."--AALL Spectrum


About the Author


Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University. He is the author of the bestselling Philosophy: The Basics.
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Product Details

  • Series: Very Short Introductions
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199232350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199232352
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 4.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Warburton writes, "John Stuart Mill was explicit that incitement to violence was the point at which intervention to curb free speech was appropriate. Mere offensiveness wasn't sufficient grounds for intervention and should not be prevented by law, by threats, or by social pressure." "A spirit of toleration should not include a prohibition on causing offence." Times columnist Oliver Kamm agreed, "Free speech does indeed cause hurt - but there is nothing wrong in this."

As US Justice Brennan said in Texas v. Johnson, which upheld the right of dissenters to burn the US flag as a protest, "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."

Virtually anything can be seen as offensive, and something that is both true and important is bound to offend somebody.

But in Britain today, it seems that we have the right to have free speech, as long as we don't use it. So members of the English Defence League are arrested and the group Muslims against Crusades is disbanded for saying things that some find offensive. But it is legitimate, if unjust and idiotic, to call for Sharia law here, and it is also legitimate, and just, to oppose Sharia law.

This government is trying to suppress dissent. It is expanding its police powers to control and limit expression, narrowing our rights of democratic participation.

The meanings of symbols like the poppy are in the realm of opinion and argument, so the state must not impose a politically correct interpretation on us.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These "Very Short Introduction" books are amazing. They're short, small and give you a substantial overview of the subject with out a lot of tedious dense reading. They're very well written and easy to read (especially when you're bogged down with a LOT of reading in school so thank you professor for choosing this book!!!!) Highly recommend if you want to start learning about Free Speech and aren't really ready to delve into deep philosophical thought on the matter, great jumping off point.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another fine addition to the series, with up-to-date examples put in historical context. Easy to read proof that total freedom of speech does not exist. There are always limits.
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