A Place from Where to Speak: The University and Academic Freedom

British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (2):146 - 163 (2009)
The university is promoted as 'a place from where to speak'. Academic freedom is examined as a crucial value in an increasingly uncertain age which resonates with Barnett's concern to encourage students to overcome their 'fear of freedom'. My concern is that the putative university space of freedom and autonomy may well become constricted by those who would limit not just our freedom to speak but also our freedoms to be and to do. Without academic freedom students and teachers, who might be able to fly, will not be permitted to fly. I review issues of academic freedom and free speech raised especially by Berlin, Voltaire, von Humboldt, Mill, Milton and Rorty. I discuss problems raised when free speech is heard by others as harmful and offensive to their beliefs and values. I offer a set of suggestions to ensure that the university may envision itself as a space of freedom, pluralism and tolerance. Finally, I reflect that the university, of all democratic institutions, should be the one which best serves its society as 'a place from where to speak'.
Keywords academic freedom  democracy  tolerance  pluralism  free speech
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8527.2009.00429.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Ronald Barnett (2000). Realizing the University in an Age of Supercomplexity. Society for Research Into Higher Education & Open University Press.
Terry Eagleton (2003). After Theory. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Alison M. Jaggar (2007). Teaching in Colorado. Teaching Philosophy 30 (2):149-172.
Robin Barrow (2009). Academic Freedom: Its Nature, Extent and Value. British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (2):178 - 190.
Dennis Hayes (2009). Academic Freedom and the Diminished Subject. British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (2):127-145.
E. R. Klein (2002). Whither Academic Freedom? International Journal of Applied Philosophy 16 (1):41-53.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #314,307 of 1,940,976 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #333,940 of 1,940,976 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.