Ralston College
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Why Neither Free Speech nor Hate Speech is a Thing: A Lecture by Dr Stanley Fish

  • Past Event
  • Dates
  • Past Event
    Friday, February 17th at 5PM
  • Location
  • Cranmer Hall, 27 West Charlton Street, Savannah

Many seek a comprehensive definition of free speech undergirded by a free speech principle. In the second lecture in our three-part series on “Liberal Arts, Free Speech, and the University”, Dr Fish contends that no such definition can be formulated because there is no free speech principle. Instead, there is a collection of phrases, slogans, and symbols out of which so-called “free speech” arguments are fabricated and cobbled together in the service of achieving some political objective. Free speech, if it is anything, is a rhetoric and none the worse for that.

Dr Stanley Fish is a Professor of Law at Florida International University, a literary theorist, and the author of more than 200 scholarly publications and books. He has written for prestigious law journals including the Stanford Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Yale Law Journal, University of Chicago Law Review, Columbia Law Review, and Texas Law Review, and his research extends far beyond legal scholarship to include poetry by John Milton and John Skelton, as well as literary studies.