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Academic Freedom$
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Jennifer Lackey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791508

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791508.001.0001

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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: 03 December 2021

No Platforming

No Platforming

(p.186) 11 No Platforming
Academic Freedom

Robert Mark Simpson

Amia Srinivasan

Oxford University Press

This paper explains how the practice of “no platforming” might be reconciled with a liberal politics. While opponents say that no platforming flouts ideals of open public discourse, and defenders that it is a justifiable harm-prevention measure, both sides mistakenly treat the debate like a run-of-the-mill free speech conflict, rather than a specific issue of academic freedom. Content-based restrictions on speech in universities are ubiquitous. This is no affront to a liberal conception of academic freedom, whose purpose is not just to protect the speech of academics, but also to protect academics’ rights to determine which views and speakers have sufficient disciplinary credentials to receive a hearing in academic contexts. No platforming should therefore be acceptable to liberals, in principle, in cases where it is used to support a university culture that maintains rigorous disciplinary standards, by denying attention and credibility to speakers who fall short of those standards.

Keywords:   academic freedom, free speech, liberalism, no platforming, universities

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