EIRP Proceedings, Vol 12 (2017)

On the Necessity of Free Speech in Science

Cristinel Munteanu


In this paper I aim at developping, through both John Dewey and R.G. Collingwood’s work, one of Eugenio Coseriu’s ideas regarding the necessity of free speech in science. In order to adequately approach such a problem, I thought it proper to refer, first of all, to the relation between thought and speech and afterwards to the relation between the freedom of thought and freedom of speech. John Dewey accurately demonstrates that there is no authentic freedom of thought in the absence of freedom of speech. Expression as such is necessary, since, on the one hand, in order for us to clarify our own ideas, we have to verbalize them (either in an oral or written form); on the other hand, we have to communicate them to the others, to deliver them to the public debate, with a view to verifying the accuracy of these ideas, so as to correct, confirm or reject them, etc. (When dealing with aesthetic issues, Collingwood has the same opinion.) Starting from the way Dewey discussed about the relation between intuition and expression, Coseriu refers in a similar manner to the relation between theory and inquiry of facts (as it happens in linguistics, for instance). 


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