August 24, 2004

Disturbing Court Decision on Academic Freedom

via Michael Froomkin, the Pink Bunny of Battle discusses academic freedom. That David Horowitz is a jerk will surprise no one, but I found it incredibly disturbing that the Fourth Circuit Court has ruled (and the Supreme Court declined to review) that academic freedom pertains to institutions, not individuals. [So the Pink Bunny describes it, and Pitt law professor John Parry said the same thing here; I can't find that language in the apparent decision itself.]

That would mean that, in theory, any of your superiors at a university could order you not to pursue a certain line of research--and, as should be obvious, that's not academic freedom at all. Perhaps such abuses are in general forestalled by academic contracts; the law professors (Brian Leiter too) I've seen link this post haven't commented on the legal aspect.

Posted by Matt Weiner at August 24, 2004 03:35 PM

Don't you think epistemologists should be credibly careful about using the word "incredibly"?

Posted by: Matt's Mom at August 25, 2004 01:35 PM