The class will explore the theoretical foundations behind the free speech protection. Topics to be covered include: different theoretical approaches to the general protection of freedom of speech, and more specific topics such as incendiary speech, hate speech, commercial speech, compelled speech, freedom of association, the significance of motive in free speech analysis, secondary effects, copyright, and the relationship between the freedom of speech protection and other civil liberties.
Readings will be drawn from historical and contemporary sources and from the philosophical and legal literature. No prior background in philosophy is presupposed, but you'll get the most from the course if philosophical questions interest you. The doctrinal course on the First Amendment is not a prerequisite, although the two courses will complement each other well. Students will be expected to attend, participate, do the reading, write some 1-2 page reaction papers, and, write a medium-sized final paper (14 -18 pages); the final paper, will be more of an exercise in sustained analytical argument than in extensive legal research.
The course is cross-listed with a philosophy graduate seminar and so will take place on the quarter schedule. Instruction will begin the week of September 29th and end the week of December 1.