- 13,99 €
From celebrated public intellectual, New York Times bestselling author, and “America’s most famous professor” (BookPage) comes an urgent and sharply observed look at freedom of speech and the First Amendment offering a “nonpartisan take on what it does and doesn’t protect and what kind of speech it should and shouldn’t regulate” (Publishers Weekly).
How does the First Amendment really work? Is it a principle or a value? What is hate speech and should it always be banned? Are we free to declare our religious beliefs in the public square? What role, if any, should companies like Facebook play in policing the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions?
With clarity and power, Stanley Fish explores these complex questions in The First. From the rise of fake news, to the role of tech companies in monitoring content (including the President’s tweets), to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest, First Amendment controversies continue to dominate the news cycle. Across America, college campus administrators are being forced to balance free speech against demands for safe spaces and trigger warnings.
With “thoughtful, dense provocations that will require close attention” (Kirkus Reviews), Fish ultimately argues that freedom of speech is a double-edged concept; it frees us from constraints, but it also frees us to say and do terrible things. Urgent and controversial, The First is sure to ruffle feathers, spark dialogue, and shine new light on one of America’s most cherished—and debated—constitutional rights.
A bestselling author and humanities professor, Fish (How to Write a Sentence) zeroes in on the First Amendment in this well-constructed analysis, offering his nonpartisan take on what it does and doesn't protect and what kind of speech it should and shouldn't regulate. He argues that the amendment's language, and the jurisprudence that back it up, make it impossible for the United States to ban hate speech as many European countries have done, and that, despite the Amendment containing a religious clause, faith and free speech will always be at odds with one another. Fish declares that universities "don't have free-speech obligations because freedom of speech is not an academic value"; in his view, schools are not required to host visiting right-wing provocateurs and "safe spaces" and "trigger warnings" are inherently antithetical to the learning process. And he explores Donald Trump's bombastic "post-truth" discourse as an extension of cultural relativism, in which there is considered to be no such thing as an "objective truth." The title's "think about" is accurate: Fish's well-articulated and substantiated argument offers no ideas about what to do about hate speech, fake news, or political polarization. More than anything else, this is a thought exercise for armchair philosophers and perhaps university administrators.