Freedom of Speech

John Finnis

in Reason in Action

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580057
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729379 | DOI:
Freedom of Speech

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This chapter contains the text of a 1970 essay which tries to penetrate the ‘region of principles’ spoken of by Mill in On Liberty. The logical analysis of rights shows the vast array of different and incompatible rules that might be derived from the ‘principle’ or ‘right’ of ‘free speech’. Resolution of these ambiguities requires acknowledgement of substantive human goods; a better conception of political and legal philosophy than the current (1970) conceptions articulated by Anthony Quinton; a better conception of utility than Mill's or Bentham's; attention to the complexity of the basic good of friendship; and acknowledgement, against Mill and Milton, that man has not ‘come of age’ in England or elsewhere.

Keywords: Mill; On Liberty; Bentham; Milton; analysis of rights; political philosophy; friendship; Anthony Quinton

Chapter.  6789 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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