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Faculty of Philosophy


What is the point of free speech? Truth, said the philosopher J.S. Mill, and he was partly right. Free speech is not a fisticuff free-for-all. What matters is knowledge, especially the knowledge needed to govern ourselves in a democracy. ‘Post-truth’ was recently the OED word of the year, made manifest in speech that manipulates and deceives, in the media, and in social media. But the abandonment of truth would be the death, not the vindication, of free speech. Professor Rae Langton argues that a living democracy needs and deserves better.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Monday, 16 October, 2017 - 17:00 to 18:00
Event location: 
Newnham College, Cambridge