In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Academic Freedom. Oxford, UK: pp. 186-209 (2018)

Robert Mark Simpson
University College London
Amia Srinivasan
Oxford University
This paper explains how the practice of ‘no platforming’ can be reconciled with a liberal politics. While opponents say that no platforming flouts ideals of open public discourse, and defenders see it as a justifiable harm-prevention measure, both sides mistakenly treat the debate like a run-of-the-mill free speech conflict, rather than an issue of academic freedom specifically. Content-based restrictions on speech in universities are ubiquitous. And this is no affront to a liberal conception of academic freedom, whose purpose isn’t just to protect the speech of academics, but also to give them the prerogative to determine which views and speakers have sufficient disciplinary credentials to receive a hearing in academic contexts. No platforming should therefore be acceptable to liberals, in principle, in cases where it is used to support a university culture that maintains rigorous disciplinary standards, by denying attention and credibility to speakers without appropriate disciplinary credentials.
Keywords Academic Freedom  Free Speech  No Platforming  Liberalism  Campus Culture Wars
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No-Platforming and Higher-Order Evidence, or Anti-Anti-No-Platforming.Neil Levy - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):487-502.
How to balance Balanced Reporting and Reliable Reporting.Mikkel Gerken - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3117-3142.
The Gender Wars, Academic Freedom and Education.Judith Suissa & Alice Sullivan - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 55 (1):55-82.
Free Expression or Equal Speech?Teresa M. Bejan - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):153-169.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Why Neil Levy is Wrong to Endorse No-Platforming.Danny Frederick - 2020 - In Against the Philosophical Tide. Yeovil: Critias Publishing. pp. 175-177.
Academic Freedom and the Diminished Subject.Dennis Hayes - 2009 - British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (2):127-145.
Academic Freedom: Its Nature, Extent and Value.Robin Barrow - 2009 - British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (2):178-190.
A Place From Where to Speak: The University and Academic Freedom.Graham Badley - 2009 - British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (2):146-163.
A Defence of Free Speech.Richard McDonough - 1989 - In Cedric Pan Jaganathan Muraleenathan (ed.), Thinking about Democracy. pp. 61-84.
Whither Academic Freedom?E. R. Klein - 2002 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 16 (1):41-53.
What is Free Speech?David Braddon-Mitchell & Caroline West - 2004 - Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (4):437-460.
Free Speech and Liberal Community.Gerald Lang - 2019 - In Carl Fox & Joe Saunders (eds.), Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy. London, UK: pp. 105-123.
Ethics, Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure.Richard T. De George - 2003 - Journal of Academic Ethics 1 (1):11-25.
Does Freedom of Speech Include Hate Speech?Caleb Yong - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (4):385-403.
The Free Speech Argument Against Pornography.Caroline West - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):391 - 422.


Added to PP index

Total views
1,234 ( #3,724 of 2,448,291 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
373 ( #999 of 2,448,291 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes