Freedom of Speech: The History of an Idea

Freedom of Speech: The History of an Idea

Paperback Apercus: Histories, Texts, Cultures (Paperback)

By (author) Elizabeth Powers, Contributions by Joris Van Eijnatten, Contributions by Javier Fernandez Sebastian, Contributions by Paula Sutter Fichtner, Contributions by Jonathan I. Israel, Contributions by John Christian Laursen, Contributions by Lee Morrissey, Contributions by Helena Rosenblatt, Contributions by Douglas Smith

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  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 213mm x 23mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 10 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Cranbury
  • ISBN 10: 1611483859
  • ISBN 13: 9781611483857
  • Sales rank: 1,205,820

Product description

The essays in this volume portray the debates concerning freedom of speech in eighteenth-century France and Britain as well as in Austria, Denmark, Russia, and Spain and its American territories. Representing the views of both moderate and radical eighteenth-century thinkers, these essays by eminent scholars discover that twenty-fi rst-century controversies regarding the extent of permissible speech have their origins in the eighteenth century. The economic integration of Europe and its offshoots over the past three centuries into a distinctive cultural product, "the West," has given rise to a triumphant Enlightenment narrative of universalism and tolerance that masks these divisions and the disparate national contributions to freedom of speech and other liberal rights.

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Author information

Elizabeth Powers was chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Eighteenthth-Century European Culture from 2003 to 2010. She is a scholar of German literature and is currently writing a study of Goethe's concept of world literature.

Review quote

This intriguing history, a compilation of essays, traces freedom of speech via a number of thinkers, movements, and radical events. Elizabeth Powers offers both an introduction and conclusion that serve to question what the freedom of speech is doing in modern society and, furthermore, how the history of the idea itself, with its different incarnations, influences how we perceive this freedom worldwide ,but specifically in the West... Freedom of Speech: The History of an Idea succeeds in providing a way to renew our understanding of the ideas that preceded the institutionalization of freedom of speech and dealing with those in a modern West. The Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer

Table of contents

1 Introduction: Freedom of Speech: Contemporary Issues and a History 2 Libertas Philosphandi in the Eighteenth Century: Radical Enlightenment versus Moderate Enlightenment (1750-1776) 3 In Praise of Moderate Enlightenment: A Taxonomy of Arguments in Favor of Freedom of Expression 4 Cynicism as an Ideology Behind Freedom of Expression in Denmark-Norway 5 Alexander Radishchev's Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow and the Limits of Freedom of Speech in the Reign of Catherine the Great 6 Print versus Speech: Censoring the Stage in Eighteenth-Century Vienna 7 The Crisis of the Hispanic World: Tolerance and the Limits of Freedom of Expression in a Catholic Society 8 Rousseau, Constant, and the Emergence of the Modern Notion of Free Speech 9 Toward an Archaeology of the First Amendment's Free Speech Protections 10 Conclusion: A Way Forward?