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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22

PHIL 50.17 Global Expressive Rights

Does the right to free speech have boundaries? Philosophical defenses of the right to free speech, developed in the context of the town square and the printing press, have yet to catch up with the revolution in communication brought about by the Internet. Technological innovations such as social media have made it possible to communicate instantaneously with hundreds of millions of people around the world and have, for purposes of regulating speech, rendered national boundaries virtually irrelevant. There is now an urgent need to determine how to assess and protect the values of free speech in this global context. Questions we will discuss include: Is there a universal human right to freedom of expression? If so, what is the philosophical basis for it? What are its limits? Does it protect racist hate speech as well as political dissent? How should the different free speech regimes currently in effect in different countries be reconciled in cases of conflict?


Two Philosophy courses, or permission of the instructor.

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.