This month we continue our series on speech and censorship by discussing a famous critique of free speech from the left. My guest and I dig into Herbert Marcuse’s famous essay and try to make sense of its critique of tolerance and free speech. We discuss Marcuse’s background and role as a leading thinker of the New Left. We also analyze Marcuse’s goal of liberation or autonomy, his understanding of the relationship between speech and action, his use of the term totalitarian, and his understanding of the duty of the intellectual.

Our guest is Professor Alexander Duff. Alex is a scholar of the history of political philosophy, focusing on the ontology and psychology of statecraft and politics. He was trained at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his Ph.D. from the department of Political Science and was educated in the humanities and history at Carleton University, Ottawa. He is the author of Heidegger and Politics: The Ontology of Radical Discontent (Cambridge University Press) and numerous articles on classical, Renaissance, modern, and contemporary political philosophy which have appeared in the American Journal of Political ScienceJournal of PoliticsPolitical Review Quarterly, the Review of Metaphysics, the Heidegger- Jahrbuch, and other scholarly and popular publications. His work has been translated into Estonian and Farsi.

He teaches at the University of North Texas where he is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Constitutionalism and Democracy Forum. He has held fellowships from the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and American Public Life at the University of Notre Dame and from the Program for the Study of the Western Heritage at Boston College and has delivered lectures at many colleges and universities, including Oxford, Harvard, Yale, the University of Notre Dame, Boston College, the University of Texas: Austin, and Louisiana State University. He lives in Little Elm, Texas.

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Published in: General