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Does the marketplace of ideas work? Show more Show less
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The 'marketplace of ideas' theory argues that truth is found where opinions intersect. It is the figurative arena in which all can share their opinions, subjecting them to rational, public debate. In the same way that quality goods and services rise to the top in a free market economy, so this theory sees ideas as subject to the same rigorous competition. Popular ideas are considered "truths" insofar as they rise on the back of reason. These truths are essential for society to progress. Does the marketplace of ideas work?

The marketplace of ideas does not exist Show more Show less

We cannot know whether the marketplace of ideas works because it is a theory that has never been put into practice.
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Bias exists in every public forum

No environment exists free from bias. Therefore the very assumption it is based upon is flawed.
Culture Education Liberalism Marketplace of Ideas Philosophy Society
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The Argument

The marketplace of ideas depends on the open exchange of ideas, in which popularity is based on the value of the argument itself. This understanding fails to account for the bias that exists in all arenas. [1] In political bodies, for example, party allegiance might determine how one chooses to vote. The concept is therefore too idealistic to be enacted in any society. We cannot say whether it works for doesn't for this reason: there is no precedent either way. Any argument on the subject is therefore pure conjecture.

Counter arguments

The prominence of the marketplace in US legal defence shows this is not the case. At its core, the marketplace of ideas is a question of censorship. That it has successfully been invoked hundreds of times to challenge censorship, is proof that it can and does exist. And, that the existence of bias, is irrelevant to its operation.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 14:37 UTC