Marketplace of Ideas: Sources in Law and Literature

by   |  05.28.09  |  First Amendment, Supplemental Information

This quote from John Milton can be found on the outside of the Chicago Tribune building.

This quote from John Milton can be found on the outside of the Chicago Tribune building.


1. “Indeed, We will hurl Truth at Falsehood, until Truth shall triumph and Falsehood be no more. Woe betide you, for all the falsehoods you have uttered” – Koran 21:18 (Seventh Century A.D.)

2. “Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple, who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?”- John Milton, Areopagitica (1644)

3. “….If I had a piece of genuine gold, or a coin that I thought genuine, I, being conscious that the more it was tested the brighter it would shine, I would not fear to have it subjected to the severest scrutiny ….” – Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist (1824)

4. “But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” – John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

5. “…When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas – that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market….” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. v. Abrams, 1919