Last week, as part of Arizona State’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership “Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity” series, Professors Cornel West and Robert George discussed the urgent need for respect, civility, and even love across political, religious, and philosophical boundaries.
Villanova’s Ryan Center, also a JMC partner program, held a similar event with Professors George and West on January 19. Their discussion centered around the importance of liberal education, free speech, and civil disagreement.
The topics raised in West and George’s discussions are also important to the Jack Miller Center. JMC recently turned its attention to free speech and the role it plays in high education and political life. JMC made the freedom of speech the theme of last year’s Constitution Day Initiative. All of the Constitution Day events sponsored by the JMC last year addressed some aspect of the freedom of speech; several addressed issues of speech on campus. In a new addition to the initiative, JMC also launched an online resource center that explores the history, law, and theory of free speech. Included in this resource center is an extensive entry on Freedom of Speech on Campus.
2 professors, political opposites, urge concept of ‘civic friendship’
Cornel West, Robert George say at ASU talk that students must challenge their beliefs
Going to college should be an unsettling experience.
University students should be challenging their closely held beliefs in the classroom and among their friends, even when it’s uncomfortable, according to two prominent intellectuals who agree on that point even though they are political opposites.
Robert George, a professor at Princeton University, and Cornel West, a professor at Harvard University, visited Arizona State University on Friday to give a talk titled “Truth-Seeking and Freedom of Expression,” sponsored by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.
West, who describes himself as a “radical Democrat and socialist,” told the crowd at the Student Pavilion in Tempe: “If while you’re here you haven’t realized for a moment that your worldview rests on pudding, then you haven’t been educated.”
George, a conservative, agreed: “If your experience at ASU … from your friendship circle, in your classes, from your professors and from your readings is one of constantly being reaffirmed in what you already believe … then you’re not being educated.”
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