Freedom from Thought
23 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 8, 2016
This short Essay explores when ignorance can be supported or even coerced by law, and when it cannot. In the end, although freedom from thought has much to offer to the development of privacy and dignitary rights, interests in self-ignorance are better handled through norms than through law. Like other forms of privacy, First Amendment commitments are likely to frustrate legal efforts to support or coerce self-ignorance. If a speaker wishes to disclose information, the government is unlikely to be able to interfere with that disclosure unless the speaker’s interests are demonstrably weak. However, when both the speaker and the listener prefer silence, government compulsion of information disclosure will offend privacy and First Amendment principles alike.
Keywords: ignorance, self-ignorance, First Amendment, privacy, information disclosure
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