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What Snowflakes Get RightFree Speech, Truth, and Equality on Campus$
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Ulrich Baer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190054199

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190054199.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 June 2021

An Unholy Alliance

An Unholy Alliance

What Liberals and Conservatives Mean When They Defend Free Speech in the University

(p.99) 5 An Unholy Alliance
What Snowflakes Get Right

Ulrich Baer

Oxford University Press

Why do conservatives and progressives often join forces to defend an absolute notion of free speech, when they fundamentally disagree on many other points? This chapter traces the political concept of free speech back to its origins in philosophy, political science, and commonsensical self-understanding. It shows that conservatives mean something quite different when they talk about free speech from the concept used by progressives, and that the surface agreement can lead to political alliances that do not last. The discussion includes the relativism at the heart of free speech absolutism, the risks of suppressing hate, the concept of self-governance as a limit to bad ideas, and the progressive case for unrestricted speech.

Keywords:   Chapter, political polarization, Founding Fathers, J.S. Mill, free speech, liberals, conservatives

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