A Fresh Perspective on Free Speech
…from 2,500 years ago
TheAtlantic.com (@theatlantic) recently published an article that gives color to why we seem to be talking past each other a lot on the issue of free speech. Author Teresa Bejan (@tmbejan), a professor of political theory at Oxford, provides a helpful history of free speech, illuminating and contextualizing the continuing controversies on college campuses. Bejan points out that there are two concepts, in conflict since ancient Greece and described by Plato, that our founders married in the First Amendment: the equal right to participate in public debate (isegoria), and the license to say what one pleases (parrhesia).
I’d say this is a must read for anyone trying to understand why free speech (and when it is okay to restrict or limit its exercise) is such a hot-button issue.