4. The Philosophical Foundations of Freedom of Speech

This session provides a brief introduction to the reasons behind the idea of freedom of speech.

The philosophical foundation of freedom of speech, which today is recognized as a basic human right, will be outlined through three powerful arguments. After the lecture a proposal for group work will be presented, focusing on the question: Is complete freedom of speech possible? A list of possible contradicting values and considerations will be provided for discussion.



The students shall
  • understand the arguments and philosophical reasons behind the idea of freedom of speech
  • understand that freedom of speech means protection of minorities, not praise of statements we like or agree with
  • be able to reflect on possible limitations of freedom of speech in cases where words and expressions may have devastating effects



About 3 hours.

A large room with ample space for group work, large sheets of paper, pen and paper.

A lecture on freedom of speech (30-40 minutes).


 Educational elements


Svein Brurås, Professor, Faculty of Media and Journalism, Volda University College (Norway)

An online manual on intercultural understanding, ethics and human rights to be used by teachers and students in journalism education. Read more.

Email : post@journalism-edu.org

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