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Philosophical Society

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The next session of the Camden Philosophical Society reading and discussion group — on Tuesday, July 17 — will focus on issues concerning free speech raise by the First Amendment. The discussions are from 4-6 pm in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library. All are welcome.

The First Amendment, adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights, states that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The language would seem to be straightforward enough, but in recent decades its interpretation has come under aggressive questioning, especially from the right. Corporations have been particularly active in extending their rights and powers by appealing to it, for the most part successfully. Clearly a number of fundamental issues regarding rights and responsibilities are at stake here, as the attached readings indicate. The literature is vast, and we can expect to do no more than scrape the surface of what is involved.

Readings to be discussed are:

What are we allowed to say?” by David Bromwich, London Review of Books, September 22, 2016.

“The Ignorant Do Not Have a Right to an Audience,” by Bryan W. Van Norden, New York Times, June 25, 2018.

“When illiberal forces win, the answer is more – not less – democracy,” by Cas Mudde, The Guardian, June 6, 2018.

“How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment,” by Adam Liptak, New York Times, June 30, 2018.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Camden Public Library
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States