Free speech at universities

2016-02-19

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 thedemands.org 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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