Censorship and Access to Information
HANDBOOK OF INFORMATION AND COMPUTER ETHICS, Kenneth E. Himma, Herman T. Tavani, eds., John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2008
25 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 6, 2008
While there is much debate about censorship, there is little work in the philosophical literature on the concept itself. In this chapter I try to fill in this gap by providing a definition of censorship. I propose that censorship is "restricting or limiting access to an expression, portion of an expression, or category of expression, which has been made public by its author, based on the belief that it will be a bad thing if people access the content of that expression." With this definition in hand, I consider the sorts of justifications given for censorship and canvass the arguments against censorship.
Keywords: censorship, information ethics, intellectual freedom, freedom of expression
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