argument top image

Does the marketplace of ideas work? Show more Show less
Back to question

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?

Yes, the marketplace of ideas works Show more Show less

The marketplace theory is now a pillar of first amendment jurisprudence. A laissez-faire marketplace of ideas is essential in any liberty-minded society.
(1 of 3) Next position >

The marketplace of ideas works, but is compromised

Online bias is sabotaging the free exchange of ideas. There is no such thing as impartiality on the internet.
ethics marketplace of ideas philosophy politics society

The Argument

The growth of online cancel culture and rampant collegiate de-platforming are symptomatic of how the marketplace of ideas is under threat. From author J.K. Rowling to pioneering feminist Germaine Greer, those whose views question the prevailing social narrative are excluded by society, and denied the opportunity to share their views. This aversion to debate has fostered a generation of young adults incapable of critical analysis.[1] Some claim this is a direct result of an increasingly authoritarian tendency within mainstream media. One that undermines popular opinions and stimulates a culture of fear that discourages people from disagreement.[2] In both cases, the marketplace of ideas is compromised. Robbed of unpopular arguments, and fed only an established dogma, the public is increasingly misled and starved, incapable of making an informed decision.

Counter arguments

An intellectual environment where the privileged can share their views without ever having face criticism represents elite monopoly, not freedom of speech. Protest is an essential component of freedom of speech. The cancelling of public figures generates healthy debate and open dialogue on controversial issues. Such instances do not harm the marketplace of ideas; they are the marketplace of ideas.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://thefederalist.com/2015/06/03/campus-progressivism-cant-compete-with-reality/
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/media-bias-against-conservatives-real-part-reason-no-one-trusts-ncna895471

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more ↑

Discuss

This page was last edited on Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 07:52 UTC

Explore related arguments