Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

Department Chair or Program Director

Romero, Joseph M.

First Advisor

Vasey, Craig

Major or Concentration

Philosophy (Pre-Law Concentration)


This is a two-part project on freedom of speech and the internet. The first analyzes methodological approaches to the free speech debate. John Stuart Mill’s theory of free speech outlined in his book, On Liberty, is summarized. After establishing his idea of the “marketplace of ideas,” several objections to Mill’s theory are explored, focusing on various types of speech that undermine the principles of truth-seeking. The part concludes that, despite these objections, an open dialogue where actors seek truth is a worthy goal and limiting the effects of the objections presented should be pursued The second part analyzes contemporary issues of free speech on the internet. Several examples of the types of speech undermining truth-seeking are put in the context of the internet. Afterwards, the paper seeks a policy solution that boosts productive discussion on the web. Having considered problems with internet regulation, including critical media literacy in primary and secondary school curriculum is advocated.

Included in

Philosophy Commons