Thursday, November 1, 2018
Many on campus today suppose that free speech interferes with education by creating a hostile environment that exposes students to harmful opinions and hateful ideas. Peter Berkowitz, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, will argue that free speech—even and sometimes especially when objectionable and disagreeable notions are put forward—is indispensable to a liberal education worthy of the name and that free speech is not free unless all students and faculty—regardless of race, gender, or class—are able to express their thoughts and try out arguments without fear of formal punishment or social ostracism.
A winner of the Bradley Prize in 2017, Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where he is a member of the Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group. In addition, he serves as dean of students for the Hertog Political Studies Program and for The Public Interest Fellowship and teaches for the Tikvah Fund in the United States and in Israel.
He studies and writes about, among other things, constitutional government, conservatism and progressivism in the United States, liberal education, national security and law, and Middle East politics.
A prolific writer and editor of books, articles, essays, and reviews, he is the author of, among many other publications, Constitutional Conservatism: Liberty, Self-Government, and Political Moderation (Hoover Institution Press, 2013); Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War (Hoover Institution Press, 2012); Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism (Princeton University Press, 1999); and Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist (Harvard University Press, 1995). He is also a contributor at RealClearPolitics.
In addition to teaching regularly in the United States and Israel, Berkowitz has led seminars on the principles of freedom and the American constitutional tradition for students from Burma at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and for Korean students at Underwood International College at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.
Berkowitz taught constitutional law and jurisprudence at George Mason University School of Law from 1999 to 2006, and political philosophy in the department of government at Harvard University from 1990 to 1999.
He holds a JD and a PhD in political science from Yale University, an MA in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College.
Professor Berkowitz is the featured speaker for the formal dedication of the Eggert Dining Room at the Athenaeum.