The Half-Baked Idea of a University: Notes on the EHRC’s 2019 Guidelines on Freedom of Expression for Higher Education Providers
Robert Simpson (UCL)
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All are welcome. This will be the last seminar of the spring term. Thank you all for your attendance, and see you again in the summer!
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Most liberals think that it’s important for university campuses to be places of free speech. But there are prima facie reasons to think that a free speech culture on campus is less than ideally conducive to the realisation of the university’s defining aims, namely, creating and disseminating knowledge via teaching and research. In this talk I’ll consider what kind of arguments one might make as to how a free speech culture on campus in fact aids in the realisation of the university’s defining epistemic aims. I’ll suggest that the arguments to this effect are untested hypotheses at best. I’ll organise my discussion around the content of the EHRC’s 2019 Guidelines on Freedom of Expression for Higher Education Providers.
Robert Simpson’s main research interests are in social and political philosophy, primarily related to freedom of speech. He is interested in figuring out the best ways to reconcile a robust commitment to free speech with recognition of the strong case for regulating various forms of communication that are harmful to individuals and corrosive to societies. He also works on a range of issues in political theory, social epistemology, ethics, and applied ethics.
* Please note that this seminar series is run by academics on an entirely voluntary and unpaid basis, on top of existing teaching and other work commitments. While we endeavour to make these events as inclusive and welcoming as possible, we cannot undertake any extra work regarding the presentation, dissemination or planning of the talks or make adjustments to the existing programme.