Democracy, Expertise, and Academic Freedom A First Amendment Jurisprudence for the Modern State Robert Post
- Publication date:
- 03 Feb 2012
- 224 pages: 234 x 156 x 18mm
A leading American legal scholar offers a surprising account of the incompleteness of prevailing theories of freedom of speech. Robert C. Post shows that the familiar understanding of the First Amendment, which stresses the "marketplace of ideas" and which holds that "everyone is entitled to an opinion", is inadequate to create and preserve the expert knowledge that is necessary for a modern democracy to thrive. For a modern society reliably to answer such questions as whether nicotine causes cancer, the free and open exchange of ideas must be complemented by standards of scientific competence and practice that are both hierarchical and judgmental.
Post develops a theory of First Amendment rights that seeks to explain both the need for the free formation of public opinion and the need for the distribution and creation of expertise. Along the way he offers a new and useful account of constitutional doctrines of academic freedom. These doctrines depend both upon free expression and the necessity of the kinds of professional judgment that universities exercise when they grant or deny tenure, or that professional journals exercise when they accept or reject submissions.
Robert C. Post is Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law and Dean of the Yale Law School.
"The slimness of the volume is inversely related to the heft of the book's achievement, which is that it advances a bold, innovative new understanding about why the First Amendment exists and the purposes it serves. . . . The argument is carefully drawn and intellectually challenging, making the book an absolute must read for experienced constitutional scholars as well as for readers just beginning their explorations into constitutional theory."--S.B./i>--S.B. Lichtman "Choice "