Free speech at universities


in Language, Law, Politics, Teaching, Writing

The Economist recently printed an article about free speech on university campuses in the U.S..

In particular, they contrast which they say “lists speech-curbing demands from students at 72 institutions” and the Chicago Statement which argues that “[c]oncerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable”.

Generally speaking, I am extremely skeptical about curbs on the freedom of speech, even when they have plausible justifications. People don’t have a right not to be offended, and universities must provoke thinking in order to serve their purpose.

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