Analysis of Derek Bok’s essay

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The argumentative essay is involving protective freedom of speech on campus. It was written through Derek Bok who was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1930. He was trained at the universities of Stanford and Harvard where he received a diploma in law. Derek became the president of Harvard University in 1971 till 1991. For twenty years at Harvard, he had a massive experience with the scholars and additionally the administration.
Derek Bok, a former president of Harvard University, printed the essay within the state of Massachusetts expressing his opinion on defending freedom of expression on campuses. Bok's essay queries the thought of freedom of speech, and if censorship ought to get play. The incident in question came about at Harvard University. Two students adorned up Confederate flags, an act that might upset people, and in response, a third student exhibited a tetraskele in an endeavor to rally against the primary two perpetrators (Jeffrey, 13). Bok's main argument in stemming of this offensive public display is in addition to that of the fundamental change, an article that ultimately protects everyone's freedom of expression.

The author expects the audience to possess an understanding of what "freedom of speech" is to the overall public and them specifically. The audience must have respect to the subject to completely perceive what the author’s contention. For the readers to accept as true with the argument being created by the author, they have to have an open mind to what "freedom of speech" extremely is. If readers believe that "freedom of speech" is receptive everything, whether or not it's offensive or not, they're going to have problems considering the author. By having an open mind, and considering the limit of what “freedom” people have, readers can perceive where the author is basing his argument.

Bok sums up the dispute clearly once he says, “We square measure round-faced with a transparent example of the conflict between our commitment to free speech and our need to foster a community based on mutual respect.” Consequently, placing a balance between our freedom of speech and wanting each race, religion, and culture to feel comfortable within the same community could be a troublesome task to undertake.

The author's most reliable ally during this sticky case is the power of the primary change. Although Bok makes clear that he understands, however, displaying these offensive objects will hurt people, he thinks that by forbidding this sort of expression goes too much in censoring personal rights. To him, the primary change can't be used by selection, however somewhat unilaterally. He argues that by selecting to ban this person's use of freedom of speech, what side of the primary change is going to be expurgated next? Bok ends his argument by spoken communication that rather than proscribing expression, we must always talk with whoever is displaying these invasive acts and respond consequently.

To a significant extent, I agree with what Bok argues. This is an excellent argument, with either side having valid points, and it's difficult to separate the side that is the “right” aspect in this state of affairs. I do assume that the primary change ought to be used equally on everybody, which it should not be biased regardless of the state the scenario could also be. However, it is hard to remain neutral in this case, as Bok depicts to be able to do.

The fact that Confederate flags were on the show makes it a private issue in my opinion. I disagree with Bok once he says that we must always merely discuss with the offenders, and work it out with them. If individuals of different races, ethnicities, and religions are all exposed to identical public surroundings, then it ought to be implemented that nobody ought to be able to show something that may offend somebody. It would be a unique story if this freedom of expression were displayed in someone's non-public home. In the end, this can be a sticky and complicated issue that will not be resolved in a day.

The article shows excellent strength in that; the author is intimate with the topic at hand. Bok is ready to thoroughly discuss the event along with his attachment to that. The familiarity he has with the university by being the president permits him to form an honest statement within the argument. There are not any weaknesses within the article, the author describes either side of the problem, that embrace having unlimited "freedom of speech" and having restricted "freedom of speech." Overall the author is ready to discuss his argument completely.

Work citation

American Association of University Professors, “Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students,” accessed Oct. 20, 2017 from

Jeffrey Herbst. Addressing the Real Crisis of Free Expression on Campus. Washington, DC: Newseum, (2017), 2., pp. 12-14.

Gallup, Free Expression on Campus: A Survey of US College Students and US Adults. Washington, DC: (2016), pp. 3, 12, 19.

July 24, 2021

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