A Defence of Free Speech on University Campuses: Why Universities Need Free Speech

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A Defence of Free Speech on University Campuses: Why Universities Need Free Speech

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: A Defence of Free Speech on University Campuses: Why Universities Need Free Speech
Author: Jongerius, Frederick Bastiaan
Issue Date: 2018-08-30
Keywords: Free Speech
Higher Education
John Stuart Mill
Abstract: Freedom of speech is one of our most cherished freedoms. If there is one institution that, throughout history, has most embodied and protected this fundamental freedom, it is the university. So one would expect the freedom to express almost anything on campus. One would be gravely mistaken. This paper argues that, in a relatively recent trend on American universities, views deemed offensive, hateful or discriminatory are increasingly censored. Free speech is stifled by means of speech codes, free speech zones, no-platforming controversial speakers and much more. After having examined the severity of free speech restrictions in part one, part two of this paper presents a defence of a Millian, or ‘broad’, understanding of free speech. Following John Stuart Mill, broad free speech allows for the expression of almost any view, including those found offensive, hateful or discriminatory. For allowing all views to be heard is essential to the university’s goals of establishing the truth and forming the students into critical thinkers. Finally, arguments in favour of free speech restrictions on universities are discussed and refuted accordingly. In concluding, this paper advises universities to refuse to implement free speech restrictions, as these are antithetical to the goals of the university.
Supervisor: Boot, Eric
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Wijsbegeerte (Bachelor)
Specialisation: Ethiek & Politieke Filosofie
ECTS Credits: 10
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/64525
 

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