The freedom we mean: A causal independence account of creativity and academic freedom

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Abstract
Academic freedom has often been defended in a progressivist manner: without academic freedom, creativity would be in peril, and with it the advancement of knowledge, i.e. the epistemic progress in science. In this paper, I want to critically discuss the limits of such a progressivist defense of academic freedom, also known under the label ‘argument from truth.’ The critique is offered, however, with a constructive goal in mind, namely to offer an alternative account that connects creativity and academic freedom in a way that goes beyond mere reference to epistemic progress and involves reference to the freedom to think independently as the freedom we mean when we point to creativity and when we point to academic freedom. The resulting causal independence account is not only epistemologically stronger than a progressivist account, it also allows to counter the curbing of academic freedom in the name of progress. The latter becomes key, for instance, when authoritarian political regimes limit or negate academic freedom with reference to an epistemic progress suitably defined for that regime.
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2021
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KROTFW
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First archival date: 2021-06-01
Latest version: 2 (2021-06-09)
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2021-06-01

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