Thursday, September 04, 2014

First they came for the obscene, and I did not speak out because I was not obscene. Then they came for the non-mundane and I did not speak out because I was mundane.

You can't make this shit up. One more for the list

Leiter: The Case Against Free Speech
I'd posted the abstract before I began reading the thing, but the opening of the paper itself is even better
One major accomplishment of the post-Enlightenment revolutions in moral and political thought that began in the 18th -and 19th- centuries is that the “value of free speech” is now widely taken for granted on all ends of the political spectrum in the capitalist democracies. This consensus, I will argue, has now gone badly awry, even by Enlightenment standards. Much, perhaps most, speech, in fact, has little or no positive value all things considered, so the idea that its free expression is prima facie a good thing should be rejected.And since the only good reasons in favor of a legal regime of generally free expression pertain to the epistemic reliability of regulators of speech, we should focus on how to increase their reliabilty, rather than assume, as so much of popular and even some philosophical discourse does, that unfettered speech has inherent value. If much of what I will henceforth call “non-mundane” speech were never expressed, little of actual value would be lost to the world—or so I will try to persuade you.
see earlier w Raz etc. Salaita and the context, which reminds me of the obvious:

Leiter 8/22: It's official: the Chancellor of the University of Illinois does not understand either the First Amendment or academic freedom.
A lawsuit is now inevitable, and it will presumably have a defamation claim added to the constitutional and contractual claims. The Chancellor should resign: she's a disgrace. I again urge other philosophers to join the boycott. It gives me no pleasure to say that, since now the boycott has no end in sight. But the conduct by the Chancellor and the Board is such an egregious violation of the basic norms and integrity of academic institutions, that firm and public action is now imperative. 
ADDENDUM: The Board of Trustees is also a disgrace--even in Texas, the Board has not done anything this egregious in a long time:
August 22, 2014
Earlier today, you received a thoughtful statement from Chancellor Phyllis Wise regarding the university’s decision not to recommend Prof. Steven Salaita for a tenured faculty position on the Urbana-Champaign campus. 
In her statement, Chancellor Wise reaffirmed her commitment to academic freedom and to fostering an environment that encourages diverging opinions, robust debate and challenging conventional norms. Those principles have been at the heart of the university’s mission for nearly 150 years, and have fueled its rise as a world leader in education and innovation. 
But, as she noted, our excellence is also rooted in another guiding principle that is just as fundamental. Our campuses must be safe harbors where students and faculty from all backgrounds and cultures feel valued, respected and comfortable expressing their views. ...
Disrespectful and demeaning speech that promotes malice is not an acceptable form of civil argument if we wish to ensure that students, faculty and staff are comfortable in a place of scholarship and education. If we educate a generation of students to believe otherwise, we will have jeopardized the very system that so many have made such great sacrifices to defend. There can be no place for that in our democracy, and therefore, there will be no place for it in our university. ...
My ellipsis.  His post is filed under "authoritarian and fascism alerts".

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