May 24 Bryan Van Norden -Do We Have to Tolerate the Intolerant?【我们必须去宽容那些不宽容的吗?】-School of Philosophy-WHU
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May 24 Bryan Van Norden -Do We Have to Tolerate the Intolerant?【我们必须去宽容那些不宽容的吗?】
Date:2018-05-21  Clicks:373

Do We Have to Tolerate the Intolerant?


Professor Bryan Van Norden

WHU Philosophy Spring Seminar Series

Thursday 24 May 2018



Freedom of expression is one of the most highly prized rights in modern pluralistic liberal democracies.  But why is free speech important, and are there ever contexts in which it should be restricted? In this talk, I review John Stuart Mill’s classic argument in On Liberty for essentially unlimited freedom of expression. I then discuss two political philosophies that criticize Mill from extremely different perspectives:  Herbert Marcuse’s New Left critique in his classic essay, “Repressive Tolerance,” and critiques based on Aristotelian or Confucian conceptions of the state as a community unified by a shared conception of the good life.

About the Speaker

Bryan Van Norden is author, editor, or translator of nine books on Chinese and comparative philosophy, including “Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy” (2011), “Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy: Han to the 20th Century” (2014, with Justin Tiwald), “Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy” (2nd ed., 2005, with P.J. Ivanhoe), and most recently “Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto” (2017). Bryan lives in Singapore, where he is currently Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Visiting Professor at Yale-NUS College.  He is also Chair Professor in Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (PRC) and Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College (USA). A recipient of Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Mellon fellowships, Van Norden has been honored as one of The Best 300 Professors in the US by The Princeton Review.

Suggested Background Reading

Marcuse, Herbert (1965) ‘Repressive Tolerance’.

When and Where

Pre-Seminar Briefing

· When: 14:30-15:30

· Where: B214, School of Philosophy


· When: 15:30-16:00

· Where: Starbucks (all welcome, at own expense)

Seminar Presentation:

· When: 16:00-17:15

· Where: B214, School of Philosophy