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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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Academic Freedom and the Politics of Truth

Academic Freedom and the Politics of Truth

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 Academic Freedom and the Politics of Truth
Source:
Academic Freedom
Author(s):

Michael P. Lynch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198791508.003.0002

This chapter argues that academic freedom is justified because it is an inherently epistemic practice that serves the ideals of democracy. With Dewey, it is argued that “The one thing that is inherent and essential [to the idea of a university] is the ideal of truth.” But far from being apolitical, the value of pursuing truth and knowledge—the value that justifies academic freedom, both within and without the public mind—is a fundamental democratic value, and for three reasons: the practices of academic inquiry exemplify rational inquiry of the kind needed for democratic deliberation; those practices serve to train students to pursue that kind of inquiry; and those practices are important engines of democratic dissent.

Keywords:   academic freedom, epistemology, truth, democracy, Dewey, Rorty

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