Keywords: freedom of speech, political philosophy, liberalism, democracy, liberty, equality, hate speech, Milton, J. S. Mill, Scanlon, Dworkin, Raz
Abstract: The author of the article summarizes several centuries of development in the arguments justifying free speech. He departs primarily from the texts of liberal theoreticians, for whom free speech was and still is a central topic. Arguments in favour of freedom of speech are connected not only with the theory of liberalism, but with liberalism as an ideology, as well as with the democratic theory. The article presents arguments by philosophers, such as J. S. Mill, Ronald Dworkin, Thomas Scanlon, or Joseph Raz, but also by judges, such as Oliver Holmes or Louis Brandeis. We may find detailed arguments connected with the search for truth, with the self-fulfilment of the individual, with the functionality of liberal democracy and others.