The Jacobs Lecture

7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022
Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center
Free and open to all.

Dr. Agnes Callard presents "What is Free Speech?"

She writes: "In a country where one can be jailed for one's political opinions, one lacks freedom of speech. Freedom of speech entails the absence of coercive government interference in speech. But the absence of such interference is a merely necessary condition on free speech. What more needs to be the case in order for speech to be truly free? I explore a Socratic answer to this question, which rejects many of the standard liberal models of free speech – free speech as open debate; free speech as the marketplace of ideas; free speech as openness to persuasion – on the grounds that they fail to guard against the politicization of speech. I explain what politization is; why it is coercive, i.e., unfree; and how Socrates' approach to conversation offers a way of avoiding it."

Dr. Callard is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. Callard is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her primary areas of specialization are Ancient Philosophy and Ethics. She is the author of Aspiration: The agency of becoming (Oxford, 2018), a regular columnist for The Point Magazine, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. She has also contributed to a host of other publications, including The New Yorker, and is a much sought-after interview guest, frequently appearing on podcasts.

About the Russell Jacobs Lecture in Philosophy

The purpose of the Russell Jacobs Lecture in Philosophy is to bring outstanding philosophers and discussion of their work to Washburn University. It is held in the fall and always is free and open to the public. Emeritus faculty member Russell Jacobs established this lecture upon his retirement. 

2022 - Dr. Agnes Callard of University of Chicago

2019 - Dr. Chike Jeffers of Dalhouise University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Philosophy and Religious Studies Department
Morgan Hall, Room 206
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

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