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Lucas Swaine (Dartmouth College) on Freedom of Thought as a Basic Liberty
23 February 2016 @ 13:00 - 14:30
The Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence and the Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies kindly invite you to a colloquium with Prof. Lucas Swaine (Dartmouth College), entitled:
“Freedom of Thought as a Basic Liberty”
Is freedom of thought a basic liberty? Notable statements in the liberal canon suggest that it is, and the idea that there is something highly important in freedom of thought finds special expression in a variety of notable international declarations and resolutions. But the nature of freedom of thought remains unclear; and it is far from obvious that freedom of thought merits status as a basic liberty, alongside cardinal and established freedoms of expression, religion, conscience, and association.
I examine whether freedom of thought should be considered a basic liberty, in this paper. I begin by noting the importance of thinking in human life, following which I elaborate a set of noteworthy views emphasizing the significance of freedom of thought. I consider subsequently the place of freedom of thought in political and legal theory and in human rights discourse, examining prominent statements within those traditions. I move then to assess whether freedom of thought is distinctive with respect to other key liberties, following which I employ my findings to consider whether freedom of thought merits status as a liberty of the basic kind. In the course of analysis, I give reason to hold that freedom of thought is indeed special and distinctive. I propose that freedom of thought deserves status as a basic liberty, given the significance of thought to human life, the fundamental importance of freedom of thought in establishing and sustaining crucial rights and liberties, and the value of being able to develop and experience one’s thoughts without undue interference from others.
Lucas Swaine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government, Dartmouth College. He is well known for his book The Liberal Conscience: Politics and Principle in a World of Religious Pluralism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). He is currently working on a book entitled Ethical Autonomy: The Rise of Self-Rule.
Date: 23 February
Time: 13:00 – 14:30hrs
Venue: Oudemanhuispoort, room A0.09
Research colloquium, organised by the Paul Scholten Centre. This colloquium is open to all, no registration required. For more information and a copy of the paper, please contact Roland Pierik via R.Pierik@uva.nl.
This event is generously sponsored by the Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies
Upcoming PSC Colloquia:
22 March: Liesbeth Zegveld (UvA & Prakken d’Oliveira): Designing the Rawagede-case
5 April: TBA
26 April Nik de Boer (Constitutional Law UvA): strengthening democracy through courts
17 May Jurriën Hamer (Philosophy, Utrecht): Why Waldron’s understanding of the normative authority of democracy is misguided and an alternative.
31 mei Roland Pierik (PSC): the various legal regimes of childhood vaccination
13 september Bastiaan Rijpkema (Legal Philosophy Leiden): Militant democracy and democracy as self-correction
About the OZSW event calendar
The OZSW event calendar lists academic philosophy events organized by/at Dutch universities, and is offered by the OZSW as a service to the research community. Please check the event in question – through their website or organizer – to find out if you could participate and whether registration is required. Obviously we carry no responsibility for non-OZSW events.