Democracy

"The halls of academia may appear to be overrun by battles over academic freedom, free speech, identity politics, cancel culture and overreaching wokeness. But why does it look that way? And what are the real causes? The influential political theorist Wendy Brown has spent her career studying the very ideas — those of identity, freedom and tolerance — that are central to current debates about what’s happening on college campuses across the country, as well as to the attacks they’re undergoing from within and without."

By Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science:

The French president’s first term, with his neoliberal and authoritarian policies, has situated him on the right of the political spectrum rather than in the center as he had announced prior to being elected. But his shift has progressively gone even further with the decision to put immigration control and hardline secularism on the agenda.

Free speech makes no distinctions as to quality; academic freedom does. Are all opinions equally valid in a university classroom? Are professors being "ideological" when they refuse to accept the Bible as scientific evidence? What, then, becomes of...

In 1934, David Hilbert, by then a grand old man of German mathematics, was dining with Bernhard Rust, the Nazi minister of education. Rust asked, “How is mathematics at Göttingen, now that it is free from the Jewish influence?” Hilbert replied,...