Free Speech And Public Sphere Essay

Free Speech And Public Sphere Essay

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The Public Sphere has become the center of thought and the forum in which people can freely communicate their views, though it is important to realize that not always have the two been intertwined. Though today the Public Sphere is thought to have originated during the French Revolution, but it is much older than that, it held an important aspect in the Hellenistic Greek era. Because free speech and Public Sphere were not combined back then many philosophers found themselves in a tough spot when they spoke out against the norm in favor of change.
Philosophers, such as Socrates, found that the Public Sphere was very important to their ability to teach/lecture to other students or passer byes (Plato p. 2). However, unlike now where free speech is a partner with the Public Sphere in the Hellenistic Era they faced challenges and criminal charges for speaking out. The Hellenistic Era was important to history as the period in which Greek mythology and culture spread across the western and eastern hemispheres of the world. This was the period in which philosophers flourished and created theories that would lead the world for years to come one of which was Socrates. Socrates was an important philosopher, not only because he was a great mind himself, but more so because he was a role model and teacher to many of the most prominent minds of the centuries to come. Socrates was a free thinking philosopher who felt that wisdom and the pursuit of it was the most important goal in life and as such caused an uproar in the Greek community (Plato p. 4).
Free speech allows people to speak their minds freely in public areas as long as they are not slandering another person’s name, free speech is what allows hellfire and brimstone preachers to pre...

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...ntional, the law has no cognizance of unintentional offences,” which meant that since there was no slandering of specific people, or groups that there was no lawful case against him (Plato p. 7).
All of Socrates’s points are completely valid and if he had lived today in the United States where Free Speech is tied with the Public Sphere he would not have had to argue these points at all. Socrates was a great mind whose quest for enlightenment brought him close to the sun only to be burned by men with too small minds to comprehend his genius of drive and as such was crushed under the system of Greek society. The Public Sphere has played an important role throughout history, whether for good or for ill and many of those outcomes had everything to do with the presences of or lack there of free speech, making it imperative for American’s to never underestimate it’s value.

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