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Freedom of Thought in Political History

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The Law and Ethics of Freedom of Thought, Volume 1

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Law, Neuroscience, and Human Behavior ((PASTLNHB))

Abstract

This chapter charts the progress of freedom of thought in the history of Western intellectual and political life. Swaine argues that while freedom of thought is a distinctive liberty, it has been misunderstood and often infringed. Received arguments on freedom of thought tend to underplay the moral qualities of thought, they incorrectly presume that authorities cannot change people’s beliefs, and they do not adequately justify why political institutions and officials should not attempt to interfere with citizens’ thinking. Swaine concludes with a brief discussion of challenges to freedom of thought in modern democracies, describing prospects for better articulation of that value and outlining new ways in which to strengthen and defend it.

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Correspondence to Lucas Swaine .

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Swaine, L. (2021). Freedom of Thought in Political History. In: Blitz, M.J., Bublitz, J.C. (eds) The Law and Ethics of Freedom of Thought, Volume 1. Palgrave Studies in Law, Neuroscience, and Human Behavior. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84494-3_1

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