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Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction

Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) Nigel Warburton

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 106mm x 170mm x 10mm | 118g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199232350
  • ISBN 13: 9780199232352
  • Illustrations note: 11 black and white line illustrations
  • Sales rank: 105,307

Product description

'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it' This slogan, attributed to Voltaire, is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech. Yet it is rare to find anyone prepared to defend all expression in every circumstance, especially if the views expressed incite violence. So where do the limits lie? What is the real value of free speech? Here, Nigel Warburton offers a concise guide to important questions facing modern society about the value and limits of free speech: Where should a civilized society draw the line? Should we be free to offend other people's religion? Are there good grounds for censoring pornography? Has the Internet changed everything? This Very Short Introduction is a thought-provoking, accessible, and up-to-date examination of the liberal assumption that free speech is worth preserving at any cost. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Author information

Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Philosophy: the Basics (4th ed), Thinking from A to Z,Freedom: an Introduction with Readings, Philosophy: the Classics, The Art Question, and many more. He teaches courses on aesthetics for Tate Modern and regularly writes and broadcasts in the media on a range of topics, including running the popular Philosophy Bites podcast with David Edmonds.

Review quote

The genius of Nigel Warburton's Free Speech lies not only in its extraordinary clarity and incisiveness. Just as important is the way Warburton addresses freedom of speech - and attempts to stifle it - as an issue for the 21st century. More than ever, we need this book. Denis Dutton, University of Canterbury, New Zealand Crisp, clear and astute, this is a thought-provoking introduction to one of the most hotly contested questions of our time. Lisa Appignanesi, President English PEN

Table of contents

1. Free Speech ; 2. A Free Market in Ideas? ; 3. Giving and Taking Offence ; 4. Censoring Pornography ; 5. Free Speech in the Age of the Internet ; 6. Conclusion: The Future of Free Speech