Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

61 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
During what period of time did John Stuart Mill live?
During the time of reform and revolution.
When was "On Liberty" published?
The essay "On Liberty" is a "brilliant defense" of what?
Individual freedom
Alan Dershowitz says that "every citizen of the world who aspires to freedom should reread Mill's "On Liberty" periodically" and should consistently do what?
Evaluate and challenge the actions of the state by reference to its simple but profound principle.
The subject of the essay is what?
Civil or social liberty.
What is the classic struggle that Mill discusses?
Between liberty and authority.
What is the tyranny of the majority, and why must society be on guard against it?
The means of tyrannizing are not limited to acts--mandate good or bad. Mandating with things that shouldn't be meddled in.
No two ages and scarcely any two countries have decided what alike?
Rules of conduct by law and opinion.
What does Mill say about social custom?
Magical illusion, makes things appear self-evident, self-justifying. It's second nature, often mistaken for the first.
What is the key principle proposed on page 11?
Popular opinion influence can lead to bad laws and prevent good laws.
To whom does this principle apply?
Human beings in the majority of their faculties.
What would constitute a prima facei case for punishing someone?
If anyone does any act hurtful to others.
Should people be compelled to perform positive acts for the benefit of others?
Yes, but more carefully than prevention of bad acts.
What is the appropriate region of human liberty?
When a person's actions affects themselves and others with their free, voluntary and undeceived consent and opinion.
"The only freedom which deserves the name" is what?
The freedom to pursue one's own good in their own way as long as they don't attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede other's efforts.
Why should we expect to see an increase in the imposition of some men's opinions and inclinations on the conduct of others? What must we raise to prevent it?
It's human nature to want power, and power is increasing. We must raise the barrier of moral conviction.
The best government has no more title than the worst to what?
To silence the individual.
How does Mill support his assertion that "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind?"
It's robbing the human race. If the one be right, win; if they're wrong, the position of truth is better established.
What does Mill mean when he says that "all silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility?
If you silence others it's like saying you have absolute truth and knowledge.
How does the assumption of infallibility relate to ages as well as to individuals?
Ages are no more infallible than individuals--all ages later have things disproved.
"Noe wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but" what?
By hearing what can be said of it by people of varying opinions.
What is the problem with denying a hearing to opinions with which we disagree?
It's assuming judgement when both sides have not been heard.
What does Mill say about Socrates, Christ, and Marcus Aurelius? How do these examples fit into his argument?
People wanted to silence Socrates and Christ, whose ideas we recognize now as good and wise. Marcus Aurelius could have been a much better ruler, but he allowed fear to persuade him to silence the opinions of Christians.
What is "as important a service as a human being can render to his fellow-creatures?
To discover something which deeply concerns the world, of temporal or spiritual interest.
What are Mill's views about the dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution?
That it's not so. Truth, when an opinion is true, may be extinguished countless times, but people throughout ages rediscover it and eventually it will become established.
"No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize" what?
He must follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead.
What has made some periods of history so remarkable?
Progress has been made when fear of heretaracy has been dissipated.
Why is it important to have freedom of discussion not only about received opinions that are false, but also about received opinions that are true?
To actually come to know truth, to prove it for themselves.
Pages 37-38 argument and why Mill's argument here is central to the notion of free expression in society?
So people can hear both sides of the issue and know, really, why they feel the way they do, know they have the true principles to base life on, and law, legislation.
What does Mill say about received and new religions?
They're given strength when struggling to ascend above other religions--the mind must becompelled to exercise because of religion's questions.
What does Mill mean when he says "The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful, is the cause of half their errors. A contemporary author has well spoken of the 'deep slumber of a decided opinion.'"
Truths can't change, but our knowledge does and who knows but that we will be able to adjust our opinion of truth to be most correct?
Heretical opinions are generally what?
Generally some of these suppressed and neglected truths, bursting the bonds which kept them down, and either seeking reconciliation with the truth contained in the common opinion, or fronting it as enemies, and setting themselves up, with similar exclusiveness, as the whole truth.
In politics, two parties are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life. What are they?
A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform.
Which of two opinions has greater claim to be tolerated and encouraged--the majority or the minority?
The minority. It represents the neglected interests, the side of human well-being which is in danger of obtaining less than its share.
What are the four distinct grounds upon which Mill has built his argument for freedom of opinion and freedom of expression of opinion?
1. If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for all we know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.
2. Even if silenced opinion is wrong, it contains some truth and can help us gain better truth.
3. Silenced opinion may be true, and must be vigorously pursued so people trust it.
4. If silenced content of doctrine could be compromised.
What has been the effect of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the debate about freedom of expression?
Government trying to balance freedom and security.
What does the text say about public attitudes on and knowledge about the First Amendment?
They celebrate the freedom, guaranteed in it, but they're entirely comfortable with them. Most Americans seem to support restrictions.
How did the British government and the Church of England react to the introduction of the printing press in the mid-1400s?
What was the Areopagitica, who wrote it, and what was its significance?
John Milton wrote it, criticizing government censorship. It said that truth will always win against falsity.
What is the essence of William Blackstone's perspective?
No prior restraint, people suffer the consequences of their exercise of speech.
What is the essence of John Locke's perspective?
Government should answer to the people, instead of people to the governing.
What is seditious libel, and what was a key theory in a prosecution for sedition?
Criticism of the government; the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
What did it mean in Colonial America for something to be published by authority?
Printed by a printer who was licensed by the government to print.
Who was John Peter Zenger, and what was the significance of his trial?
He was a publisher who printed harsh attacks against the government. His attorney convinced the jury to acquit, saying that no one should ever be punished for printing the truth.
How did the Bill of Rights come into being?
Many states ratified the Constitution under condition of requiring one to help protect individual rights.
What is the significance of the case Gitlow v New York?
It broadened the scope of the First Amendment to state laws because of the 14th Amendment.
What tow key ideas are included in the "concept of incorporation?"
States must comply with First Amendment, plus federal courts have authority to review the constitutionality of state laws.
What does it mean for a regulation on expression to be content neutral?
It can't prohibit expression of ideas just because society finds it offensive (besides those things not protected, ie obscenity, fighting words, info that harms Nat. security)
What are the elements of the strict scrutiny test?
1. There's a compelling government interest for the regulation.
2. The regulation is necessary and narrowly tailored to meet that government interest.
What does it mean for a regulation on expression to be vague or overbroad?
So unclear that people of common intelligence must guess at its meaning and will differ in their methods of application.
What is First Amendment due process, and what is it intended to prevent?
It requires certain safeguards so individual rights are protected. Specific legal procedure courts require that allows them to decide what expression is protected. To prevent self-censorship, which occurs when individuals are unable to distinguish between protected and unprotected speech.
What has been the impact of technology on interpreting First Amendment rights in changing times?
As technology developed, the distinctions between "speech" and "press" have been increasingly blurred.
"In a broad sense, the courts have provided First Amendment protection to" what?
Expression, a term that incorporates speech, press, and some conduct. It also includes many forms of entertainment like theater performances, movies and dancing.
Why haven't the courts been able to clearly distinguish between speech and press?
They've been required to go beyond the vrbal and written communication of ideas based on what the framers were thinking to issues directing the development of modern technology.
What five values of free speech does the text identify?
-Discovery of truth
-Continuance of self-government
-Check on government power
-Promotion of stable change
-Individual fulfillment
Under the hierarchy in which some types of sppech receive more protection than others, what kind of speech receive almost absolute protection?
Speech critical of the government and speech broadcast over the airwaves that fulfills equal opportunity mandates.
Four tests used by the courts the balance freedom of expression against other rights to determine which must give way.
Bad tendency: if expression was expected to cause even the slightest tendency toward harm
Clear & present danger: if a clear and present danger that the expression will bring about substantive evils.
Balancing test: deliberately weigh the values of speech against conflicting values or interests
Strict scrutiny: government must show a compelling reason for instituting a regulation that abridges speech. Narrowly tailored.
What are the examples of three levels of First Amendment protection given in the book?
Political (highest)
Commercial (lower)
Obscenity, false advertising, fighting words (not protected)
Does the First Amendment guarantee the right to contribute money and to solicit funds, within limits?
Does freedom of expression guarantee some right to remain silent?
What is the hierarchy of the classes of people?
University students
(private universities)
High school students
Government employees