Freedom of the press

Appunto inviato da fubu92
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Note in lingua inglese sulla libertà di stampa in Inghilterra nel diciassettesimo secolo (7 pagine formato pps)

“Areopagitica: A speech of Mr.
John Milton for the liberty of unlicensed printing
to the Parliament of England” is a 1644 prose polemical tract by English author John Milton against censorship. Areopagitica is among history's most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to freedom of speech and expression, which was written in opposition to licensing and censorship and is regarded as one of the most eloquent defenses of press freedom ever written.
PUBLICATION
It was published November 23, 1644, at the height of the English Civil War. Areopagitica is titled after a speech written by the Athenian orator Isocrates in the 5th century BC.
(The Areopagus is a hill in Athens, the site of real and legendary tribunals, and was the name of a council whose power Isocrates hoped to restore.) Like Isocrates, Milton had no intention of delivering his speech orally. Instead it was distributed via pamphlet, defying the same publication censorship he argued against.


Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the
Licensing Order of 1643, noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish several tracts defending divorce (a radical stance at the time and one which met with no favor from the censors).
Interestingly, Milton is not completely libertarian in Areopagitica and argues that the status quo ante worked best. According to the previous English law, all books had to have at least a printer's name (and preferably an author's name) inscribed in them. Under that system, Milton argues, if any blasphemous or libelous material is published, those books can still be destroyed after the fact.

Areopagitica and its context
Milton's concepts are ones which do not mirror those of the modern world, and his justification for the freedom of the press is God's Will. All of the defenses he gives are predicated on a strongly theological account. Milton's own fixed theological views do not obstruct the true goal of Areopagitica, or the natural progression that stemmed from its interpretation: to allow freedom of speech in written form.