From Locke on Toleration to the First Amendment

Professor Dan Robinson, Georgetown University and University of Oxford

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Dan Robinson outlines a narrow path for judges to negotiate in their decision-making on cases of free speech, in his lecture at Wolfson College.

Professor Robinson charted the historical milestones in the development of protections for fundamental rights that we take for granted today.

He questions the best balance to be drawn between freedoms of speech and protections against slander, libel, purgery, blackmail, and the like, and addresses the question of what constitutes speech itself, as Professor Robinson provocatively raised by asking: “Is burning a flag an act of speech?”