Academic Freedom as the Freedom to do Academic Work

By David Moshman


Academic freedom is defined as the freedom to do academic work. It follows that academic freedom (1) includes freedoms of teaching, learning, and inquiry; (2) is a type of intellectual freedom; (3) is specific to academic roles and contexts; (4) is crucial at all levels of education and in all other academic contexts; (5) is individual, collective, and institutional; and (6) is central to the academic integrity of any academic endeavor or institution. This conception, which coordinates multiple traditions and literatures, enables us to explain the nature and limits of academic freedom and to justify it as a necessity for academic work. Specific academic freedom principles and policies, such as those of the AAUP, are largely consistent with this conception.

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