College News

Philosopher to Discuss Free Speech at Upcoming Lecture

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Andrei Marmor, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Philosophy and Law at Cornell University, will speak about the freedom of expression in a lecture as a part of The University of Alabama’s Philosophy Today lecture series.

His lecture, “Two Rights of Free Speech,” will be held Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in room 205 of Smith Hall on the UA campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

According to his abstract for the lecture, Marmor argues that what we typically think of as the right to freedom of expression is actually two connected rights: a right to speak and a right to hear. This division allows for Marmor to better explain some of the limits of the general right, and provides a framework for discussing when these two connected rights conflict.

“Roughly, the right to speak stands for the right of a person to express freely whatever they wish to communicate to some other persons or to the public at large,” Marmor wrote in his abstract. “The right to hear stands for the right to have free and unfettered access to any kind of content that has been communicated by others.”

Before Marmor came to Cornell in 2015, he was a professor of philosophy and the Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He received a law and philosophy degree from Tel Aviv University in Israel and a doctorate of philosophy from Oxford University.

In addition to authoring several books on legal philosophy, including “Social Conventions: From Language to Law” (Princeton, 2009), “Philosophy of Law” (Princeton, 2011) and “The Language of Law” (Oxford, 2014), Marmor has written dozens of articles and several book forwards on the subject.

Lectures in the Philosophy Today series are geared toward a general audience and are of interest to those in any profession or academic discipline.

Philosophy Today is sponsored by the UA College of Arts and Sciences’ department of philosophy, a grant from Louis W. Perry and other alumni, and friends of the department.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.