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Speech MattersOn Lying, Morality, and the Law$
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Seana Valentine Shiffrin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157023

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157023.001.0001

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A Thinker-Based Approach to Freedom of Speech

A Thinker-Based Approach to Freedom of Speech

(p.79) Chapter Three A Thinker-Based Approach to Freedom of Speech
Speech Matters

Seana Valentine Shiffrin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the foundational connection between the grounds for the moral prohibition on lying and the moral and political protection of freedom of speech. Both the prohibition on lying and the prohibition on wrongful deception work aim to protect the ability of listeners to rely on speech to develop understandings of one another and of the world. These understandings are essential for our mutual flourishing, for the apprehension and discharge of our moral obligations to one another as individuals, and to enable us to pursue our collective moral ends. The chapter draws some connections between these values and freedom of speech. It argues that the connection between discursive communication and moral agency also provides the foundations for what it calls a “thinker-based approach” to freedom of speech, which affords free speech theory a more natural way to represent the unity between freedom of thought and freedom of communication.

Keywords:   lying, freedom of speech, wrongful deception, moral obligations, discursive communication, moral agency, thinker-based approach, freedom of thought, freedom of communication

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