About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Friday, April 02, 2010

Jack of Kent on the Simon Singh case

Simon Singh has won his appeal in the long-running defamation case brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association. Note that this was only an appeal on a preliminary point, but it makes it much more likely that he can defend the substantive case.

I'll try to find time to read the whole judgment and provide an analysis. Meanwhile, Jack of Kent has given a summary and promised a full analysis soon.

Oh, and I hope it's clear that this is a huge victory for freedom of speech! Yay!

Edit: This portion of the judgment brought tears to my eyes:

Milton, recalling in the Areopagitica his visit to Italy in 1638-9, wrote:

"I have sat among their learned men, for that honour I had, and been counted happy to be born in such a place of philosophic freedom, as they supposed England was, while themselves did nothing but bemoan the servile condition into which learning among them was brought; …. that nothing had been there written now these many years but flattery and fustian. There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old a prisoner of the Inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought."

That is a pass to which we ought not to come again.

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