Liberal Pluralism and Democratic Monism: Two Perspectives on the First Amendment

Luke C. Sheahan's talk will consider two lines of argument about the First Amendment - Liberal Pluralism and Democratic Monism - which can be traced to the genesis of political thought in Plato and Aristotle.The first view follows Plato’s emphasis on unity in the polis. It holds that the primary purpose of the First Amendment is to enable democracy to function properly for greater unity in the polity. The second view follows Aristotle’s emphasis on plurality in the polis. It holds that the purpose of the First Amendment is to shield the social (as distinct from the political) role of associations and institutions from government interference.

Luke C. Sheahan is Associate Director and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College and a Non-Resident Scholar in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches the intersection of First Amendment rights and political theory. 

This event is free, but reservations are required. Lunch will be served. 

Open to the Public

Sponsored By:

GW Libraries & Academic Innovation and the Loeb Institute for Religious Freedom

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