Philosophy March 25
Freedom of Speech: John Stuart Mill- On Liberty, page 494
Limits of freedom- privacy, equality
In political philosophy, debate on whether it even makes sense that humans
have freedom of speech
No “absolute” sense of freedom
Even having a conversation with another human being requires
constraints on freedom
Human beings limit their freedom somewhat in regular dialogue, give
the other person an option to say something
Nobody is infallible or in possession of full truth all of the time
Even if we are in possession of truth, that doesn’t necessarily mean
that we won’t find ourselves in collision with views contrary to what
Mill: it is always good to find yourself confronted with someone whether
their views are true or false
The Harm Principle
There are limits on freedom
How do we determine what those limits should be?
Or should there be none?
The harm principle constitutes the limit on freedom
What kinds of speech are harmful?
Do you have the right to say things that offend others?
Harm and Pornography
Children are arguably harmed by pornography
Should not have pornography that children are able to view or involve
Laws against child pornography
It is illegal Trying to protect children
Want to make the case that the state paternalistically should legislate
to protect adults from pornography as well