Back to All Events

Jacques Maritain and Contemporary Debates on Freedom of Speech

  • Abigail Adams Institute Office 14 Arrow Street Cambridge, MA USA (map)

Professor Margarita Mooney

Princeton Theological Seminary

Talk Abstract

Is Jacques Maritain’s 1943 exhortation that we are so attached to educational techniques that we have forgotten the true ends of education relevant to debates on free speech on college campuses? Arguments in favor of free speech, such as that of Yale’s Woodward Report, are grounded in a conviction that the search for truth is an inherent part of human freedom that must be cultivated in order for humans to properly direct knowledge towards building virtuous societies. When critics of free speech, such as Herbert Marcuse, reject truth-seeking as the end of education, what does their argument imply about human freedom and good societies?


Jacques Maritain, Education at The Crossroads. Chapter 1, “The Aims of Education,” pp. 1-28. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1943.

Herbert Marcuse. “Repressive Tolerance.”  1968

“Report of the Committee on Free Expression at Yale.” (Known as the Woodward Report). 1974.