Neo-Orthodoxy in Academic Freedom

29 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2009 Last revised: 5 Jan 2010

See all articles by J. Peter Byrne

J. Peter Byrne

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: December 1, 2009


This review essay analyzes two recent books that advance neo-orthodox theories of academic freedom: Matthew Finkin and Robert Post, For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom, and Stanley Fish, Save the World on Your Own Time. Both books develop principles articulated in the American Association of University Professors 1915 Declaration, which emphasize the role of faculty in advancing knowledge and the need to insulate professional evaluation of academic work from lay, political interference. This review essay defends the return to protection of the scholarly search for truth as the touchstone of academic freedom, offers critiques of the authors’ specific arguments, and draws implications for the constitutional law of academic freedom.

Keywords: academic freedom, free speech, university education, constitutional law

JEL Classification: I28, I21, K39

Suggested Citation

Byrne, J. Peter, Neo-Orthodoxy in Academic Freedom (December 1, 2009). Texas Law Review, Vol. 88, No. 1, p. 143, 2009, Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 1516385, Available at SSRN:

J. Peter Byrne (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

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United States
(202)662-9066 (Phone)

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