Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the by Joanna Williams

By Joanna Williams

Educational freedom is more and more being threatened through a stifling tradition of conformity in better schooling that's limiting person lecturers, the liberty of educational idea and the growth of data – the very foundations upon which academia and universities are outfitted.

Once, students demanded educational freedom to critique current wisdom and to pursue new truths. this day, whereas fondness for the rhetoric of educational freedom continues to be, it's more and more criticised as an superseded and elitist thought via scholars and academics alike and referred to as into query by way of a few political and highbrow traits corresponding to feminism, serious thought and id politics.

This provocative and compelling ebook lines the death of educational freedom in the context of fixing principles in regards to the objective of the collage and the character of information. The publication argues problem to this tradition of conformity and censorship and a defence of educational unfastened speech are wanted for critique to be attainable and for the highbrow venture of comparing latest wisdom and featuring new wisdom to be significant. This e-book is that problem and a passionate name to palms for the ability of educational notion this present day.

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Additional resources for Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge (Palgrave Critical University Studies)

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The first recorded academic freedom case linked explicitly to the McCarthy trials occurred at the University of Washington in July 1948. Six academics had charges levelled against them, and three of them were dismissed: two who admitted to membership of the Communist Party and one who refused to answer any questions about Free to Be Critical 45 his politics. The three were described as ‘incompetent, intellectually dishonest, and derelict in their duty to find and teach the truth’ (Schrecker, 1994).

Cary Nelson, writing in No University Is an Island, suggests the Declaration ‘relies on the scientific method as a model for the ideal exercise of academic freedom. In a broad, multi-disciplinary context, that means rationality, willingness to test hypotheses against evidence, openness to counterclaims by peers, and so forth’ (2010, p. 24). The origins of academic freedom One reason why the AAUP Declaration has stood the test of time is that it recalls a far older philosophical discussion of intellectual freedom as crucial to passing judgement on existing knowledge and the development of new ideas and original perspectives.

Kant suggested that the university – especially the philosophy faculty, with its relative freedom from the professional strictures charged to the other three faculties of law, medicine and theology – could play a role in protecting critical reason from political and clerical authority for the benefit of society more broadly. But for this to happen, Kant argued, the philosophy faculty needed the freedom to make ‘its own judgment about what it teaches’ (1979, p. 25). The ‘medieval liberty’ (Russell, 1993, p.

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