Censorship - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 3 pages of information about Censorship.
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"Censorship" is the suppression of speech or symbolic expression for reason of its message. Liberal Western constitutionalism has traditionally condemned censorship on both instrumental and intrinsic grounds, classically articulated by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty. In this traditional liberal view, freedom of speech instrumentally serves the ends of truth and self-government. Censorship, by entrenching orthodoxy and suppressing dissent, impedes the advancement of truth and the processes of democratic change. Freedom of speech is also intrinsically valuable, in this view, as an aspect of human autonomy. Censorship illegitimately interferes with that autonomy, because speech, unlike action, typically causes others no harm. The proper response to bad speech is more speech, not government regulation.

Late-twentieth-century and early-twenty-first-century critics have challenged both the instrumental and the intrinsic justifications for freeing speech from censorship. First, some suggest that the power to speak is so unequally distributed that free competition in the...

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This section contains 719 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Censorship Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Censorship from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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