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In this exceptional volume, Matthew D. Bunker explores the work of contemporary free speech critics and argues that, while at times these critics provide important lessons, many of their conclusions must be rejected. Moreover, Bunker suggests that we be wary of interdisciplinary approaches to free speech theory that—by their very assumptions and techniques—are a poor "fit" with existing free speech theory and doctrine. In his investigation of diverse critiques of free speech theory and his sophisticated rebuttal, he provides an innovative and important examination of First Amendment theory. In doing so, he establishes a new agenda for First Amendment theory scholarship that incorporates some of the critics' insights without abandoning the best aspects of the free speech tradition.
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Distinctive features in this volume include:
• an overview of the traditional approaches to First Amendment theory,
• an examination of work from key First Amendment scholars and theorists, at both the individual and group level,
• an emphasis on interdisciplinarity ranging from femi- nist and critical legal scholars to economists and literary theorists, and
• a new agenda for First Amendment theory scholar- ship which incorporates critical comment while pre- serving the best aspects of the free speech tradition.
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Classical First Amendment Theory. Imperial Paradigms and Reductionism. Stanley Fish, Literary Theory, and Freedom of Expression. First Amendment Theory and Conceptions of the Self. The Public-Private Distinction and the New Realism. The Normative First Amendment. Shall We Commit First Amendment Theory?