Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?

Overview

In these seventeen essays, distinguished senior scholars discuss the conceptual issues surrounding the idea of freedom of inquiry and scrutinize a variety of obstacles to such inquiry that they have encountered in their personal and professional experience. Their discussion of threats to freedom traverses a wide disciplinary and institutional, political and economic range covering specific restrictions linked to speech codes, the interests of donors, institutional review board licensing, political pressure ...

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Overview

In these seventeen essays, distinguished senior scholars discuss the conceptual issues surrounding the idea of freedom of inquiry and scrutinize a variety of obstacles to such inquiry that they have encountered in their personal and professional experience. Their discussion of threats to freedom traverses a wide disciplinary and institutional, political and economic range covering specific restrictions linked to speech codes, the interests of donors, institutional review board licensing, political pressure groups, and government policy, as well as phenomena of high generality, such as intellectual orthodoxy, where coercion is barely visible and often self-imposed.

As the editors say in their introduction: "No freedom can be taken for granted, even in the most well-functioning of formal democracies. Exposing the tendencies that undermine freedom of inquiry and their hidden sources and widespread implications is in itself an exercise in and for democracy."

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

President Michael Crow

Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom? is a fantastic compilation of essays about a critically important and understudied topic. It has been 100 years since the definition of academic freedom was laid out by the Academy and 75 years since it has been studied and synthesized in any significant way, thus making this collection of essays one of the most important documents in that last century regarding the Academy and its role in our society. I would consider this to be the leading compendium of ideas and thinking on academic freedom yet produced.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231168809
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/10/2015
  • Pages: 448

Meet the Author

Akeel Bilgrami is the Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy and a Professor on the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. His books include Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment; Self Knowledge and Resentment; and Belief and Meaning.

Jonathan R. Cole is the John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University at Columbia University. For fourteen years, he served as provost and dean of faculties at Columbia. His latest book is The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence, Its Indispensible National Role, Why It Must Be Protected.

Columbia University Press

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