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Étienne Brown
San Jose State University
  1. "Fake News" and Conceptual Ethics.Etienne Brown - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (2).
    In a recent contribution to conceptual ethics, Joshua Habgood-Coote argues that philosophers should refrain from using the term “fake news,” which is commonly employed in public discussions focusing on the epistemic health of democracies. In this short discussion note, I take issue with this claim, discussing each of the three arguments advanced by Coote to support the conclusion that we should abandon this concept. First, I contend that although “fake news” is a contested concept, there is significant agreement among contemporary (...)
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  2. Free Speech and the Legal Prohibition of Fake News.Étienne Brown - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    Western European liberal democracies have recently enacted laws that prohibit the diffusion of fake news on social media. Yet, many consider that such laws are incompatible with freedom of expression. In this paper, I argue that democratic governments have strong pro tanto reasons to prohibit fake news, and that doing so is compatible with free speech. First, I show that fake news disrupts a mutually beneficial form of epistemic dependence in which members of the public are engaged with journalists. Second, (...)
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