Cause and effect: The free speech transformation as scientific revolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The model of direct, cause-and-effect speech was common not only in the social sciences early in the twentieth century, but also in the law. Speech-restrictive measures were written and judged with the belief that words may be the explicit cause of undesirable behavior. This article examines the transformation in free speech doctrine and its parallel track with the emergence of the social sciences. At the core of each was a change from direct- to limited-effects frameworks. It is posited that the paradigm shift in the law qualifies as a scientific revolution given (1) how it comports with the model explained by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and (2) its adherence to scientific method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-259
Number of pages47
JournalCommunication Law and Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Cause and effect: The free speech transformation as scientific revolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this