Since classical times, proponents of censorship have invoked religion or government to promote the repression of material that purportedly threatened public morals or controlling institutions. In this context, artistic expression has been targeted as potentially harmful by ancient philosophers, religious organizations, special-interest groups, and governmental bodies. Throughout the ages, the basic arguments for and against freedom of expression have remained remarkably the same.
Plato (428-348 b.c.e.) was among the earliest proponents of...
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