Disagreement and Free Speech

In Maria Baghramian, J. Adam Carter & Rach Cosker-Rowland (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Disagreement. Routledge (forthcoming)
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This chapter examines two ways in which liberal thinkers have appealed to claims about disagreement in order to defend a principle of free speech. One argument, from Mill, says that free speech is a necessary condition for healthy disagreement, and that healthy disagreement is conducive to human flourishing. The other argument says that in a community of people who disagree about questions of value, free speech is a necessary condition of legitimate democratic government. We argue that both of these arguments, in their standard guises, are premised upon contestable views about the realpolitik of disagreement in a liberal society.

Author Profiles

Robert Mark Simpson
University College London
Sebastien Bishop
Oxford University


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