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Truth, Autonomy, and Speech : Feminist Theory and the First Amendment - Susan Williams

Truth, Autonomy, and Speech

Feminist Theory and the First Amendment

Hardcover Published: 1st June 2004
ISBN: 9780814793596
Number Of Pages: 317

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"Choice Magazine" Outstanding Academic Titles 2005 Winner

Amidst the vast array of literature on the First Amendment, it is rare to hear a fresh voice speak about the First Amendment, but in Truth, Autonomy, and Speech, Susan H. Williams presents a strikingly original interpretation and defense of the First Amendment, written from a feminist perspective. Drawing on work from several disciplines--including law, political theory, philosophy, and anthropology--the book develops alternative accounts of truth and autonomy as the foundations for freedom of expression. Building on feminist understandings of self and the social world, Williams argues that both truth and autonomy are fundamentally relational.

With great clarity and insight, Williams demonstrates that speech is the means by which we create rather than discover truth and the primary mechanism through which we tell the stories that constitute our autonomy. She examines several controversial issues in the law of free speech--including campaign finance reform, the public forum doctrine, and symbolic speech--and concludes that the legal doctrine through which we interpret and apply the First Amendment should be organized to protect speech that serves the purposes of truth and autonomy.

"[William's] theory is elegant in its explication and provocative in its implications for government restrictions on speech ranging from the hateful, the symbolic, the politically subversive, and the costly. A must read." Choice, "Meticulously argued and clearly organized, her account of free speech is both fundamentally feminist and optimistic." The Law and Politics Book Review "What emerges from this well-written work of careful scholarship is an important contribution to free speech literature." Frederick Schauer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Foundationsp. 11
The theoretical foundations of the law of free expression : truth and autonomyp. 13
Philosophical foundations : Cartesianism and liberalismp. 32
Without foundationsp. 49
The feminist critiquep. 51
The feminist dilemmap. 71
Reconstructionp. 93
Reconstructing truthp. 95
Reconstructing autonomyp. 130
Speechp. 173
Free speech and truthp. 175
Free speech and narrative autonomyp. 199
Conclusion : the enlightenment vision and the interpretive approachp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814793596
ISBN-10: 0814793592
Series: Critical America
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 317
Published: 1st June 2004
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.6