The Evolving Social Purpose of Academic Freedom

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (2):199-222 (2021)
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Abstract

In the face of the increasing substitution of free speech for academic freedom, I argue for the distinctiveness and irreplaceability of the latter. Academic freedom has evolved alongside universities in order to support the important social purpose universities serve. Having limned this evolution, I compare academic freedom and free speech. This comparison reveals freedom of expression to be an individual freedom, and academic freedom to be a group-differentiated freedom with a social purpose. I argue that the social purpose of academic freedom behooves an inclusive approach to group differentiation.

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Shannon Dea
University of Regina

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