cearta.ie

the Irish for rights

Let the law save whistleblowers, not silence them | Nick Cohen | Comment is free | The Observer

“To be happy means to be free and to be free means to be brave,” Pericles said in his oration for the Athenian war dead. The ancient Greeks treasured parrhesia, which can translate as “free speech” or “all speech” or “true speech”. Whatever version you prefer, it always carried a notion of courage with it.

The 20th-century French philosopher Michel Foucault developed the theme and argued that speech was only free when the weak used it against the strong. In parrhesia, the speaker chooses “truth instead of falsehood or silence, the risk of death instead of life and security, criticism instead of flattery and moral duty instead of self-interest and moral apathy”. On Foucault’s reading, the worker who criticises his boss uses parrhesia. The boss who shouts down his worker, does not. The woman who challenges religious notions of her subordination is a parrhesiastes. The clerics who threaten her with ostracism or worse are not. In the Chinese legend, the mandarin who knows he must contradict the emperor orders carpenters to build him a coffin and takes it with him to court. Pericles would have approved.

We like to think of ourselves as speakers of truth to power.

Nick Cohen’s argument for whistleblower protection proceeds from a classical argument for freedom of expression.

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Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

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What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution

Thanks,

Eoin.

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This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

Credit where it’s due

The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

Thanks to Blacknight for hosting.