Unformatted text preview: out for themselves and make their own mistakes. Liberty of thought and discussion is a prime example of Mill’s overall defence. According to Mill, there should be complete freedom of thought and discussion. We can’t justifiably censor views we judge to be false, since many certainties have (in the past) turned out to be mistaken. So censorship without testing assumes infallibility, and we are not infallible. What about harmful views? Mill says that the only basis we have for thinking a view is harmful is to see how it fares in public. The only basis for testing a view is open discussion. False views should be allowed because they might turn out to be true. And responding to falsehoods gives us an opportunity to rethink our positions and to hold our truths as ‘living truths’ rather than as ‘dead dogmas’. Censorship is illegitimate, but there are occasions in which the expression of an opinion can be restricted as a way of avoiding harm or violence....
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- Fall '11
- Political Science, Politics 1020E Lecture