Two loose currents appear to be in opposition in today's culture. One is animated by a strong insistence on empathy and compassion as core values, the other by a strong insistence on free speech as a core value. These two currents are often portrayed as though they must necessarily be in conflict.
Compassionate Free Speech makes the case that this is a mistake. While ethical principles of compassion and free speech can be in tension, it is possible to reconcile them in a refined synthesis that allows us to chart a balanced middle path of a free and compassionate society.
"Magnus Vinding argues both that people should not be subjected to social punishment for honest expression of their views and that we must work much harder to practice compassion, fairness, generosity, openness, and truthfulness in our own speech. He shows how social media pressures all of us to spread ignorance and rancor, and he proposes a wise set of norms to guide our online interactions. This is a deeply argued and richly insightful discussion that sheds new light on a vexing subject."
— Jamie Mayerfeld, professor of political science at the University of Washington, author of Suffering and Moral Responsibility and The Promise of Human Rights