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This lecture surveys both the case for free speech, grounded in the classical liberal principles that guided the founding of the United States and its universities, and the strongest contemporary and past arguments against it, going back to Plato. We will consider whether a healthy political community does not need a shared civic faith, whether democracies and universities do not need unfettered free speech, and what kinds of norms and practices might be required to make free speech a force for good in our communities.  Advanced registration is required for this event.  Click here to register.


Lorraine Pangle is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is also the co-director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas.  She studies and teaches the history of political and moral philosophy, with special interests in classical thought, including Homer, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Rousseau, and Nietzsche. She is author of five books and numerous articles, and has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Earhart Foundation.


Her publications include Reason and Character: The Moral Foundations of Aristotelian Political Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2020), Virtue is Knowledge: The Moral Foundations of Socratic Political Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2014), The Political Philosophy of Benjamin Franklin (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship (Cambridge University Press, 2003), The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (co-authored with Thomas L. Pangle, University Press of Kansas, 1993), and articles on Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, the American founders, and the philosophy of education.


The Forum on Constitutionalism and Democracy at SUNY Geneseo was established in 2019 by Professors Carly Herold and Aaron Herold to establish programming, and to foster campus conversations, about civic education and liberal democracy.  The Forum is supported by a grant from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History.


  • Samuel Cardamone

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