MOOC FOE1x | 1.1.1 Introduction and Overview | Making a Case for Freedom of Expression

MOOC FOE1x | 1.1.1 Introduction and Overview | Making a Case for Freedom of Expression

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– Welcome to week one. In this first week, we will seek to provide
answers to one key question. Why should we value freedom
of expression and information? In a global context such as ours, characterized by many challenges
to freedom of expression, from government, armed
group, churches, society. It is particularly important
to understand why it matters, and why we need to protect it in order to respond to
those that are so keen to control, stifle and silence. If we are going to accept some forms of limitation to free speech and most individuals in
society do understand the need for some limitation, we have to understand
why free speech matters and why it is good for the
individual and for society. So why should freedom
of expression be valued? Throughout the week, I will
present five possible responses as to why freedom of expression matters, why it is good for the
individual in society, why censorship praises
fundamental issues and questions regarding our humanity. I will draw on the work
of political theorists, but also economists and lawyers. I will take you through a journey, a journey of discovery and knowledge. Because discovery and
knowledge of oneself, of others, of the world, are key to understanding why we should value freedom of expression. And why we should be
skeptical of any claims made around the necessity of censorship. I will begin the journey
of discovery with the self, the individual, you, I. And we then will move to the society, the collective, the social good, Earth. For this exploration, we will survey the work of
eighteenth century philosophers, but also that of the
judges in the early years of the twentieth century, contemporary political theorists and the work of economists. We will then link these theoretical and philosophical arguments to more recent international
political development, demonstrating the constant relevance and importance of the
values and principles first debated several centuries ago. We will show their timeliness, and their borderless nature. So let’s begin.

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