Peter Tatchell debates issues about free speech and its appropriate limits with the President of the Oxford Union, Luke Tryl (who just gave a platform to David Irving and Nick Griffin) and Brendan O'Neill from Edge. You can watch this half-hour debate here (should open in a new window). Tatchell makes a clear and reasonable case for limits to free speech in certain circumstances. Oddly Tryl seems to feel he has an obligation to give a platform to extremists.
There is an excellent 54-minute webcast interview here (requires RealPlayer) with Harvard Professor T.M. Scanlon based on his collection of essays The Difficulty of Tolerance. This site also provides a complete transcript divided into six sections. Persevere beyond the initial biographical questions as it gets much better, particularly when he begins to talk about the nature of Philosophy and why he thinks it can be difficult (roughly, he believes that Philosophical questions usually arise from tensions within a subject area but that Philosophy steps outside that subject area to try and answer them, and that this requires a certain kind of analysis, as well as creativity and perseverance).
The interview has at its core, (from about 20 minutes into the webcast) a discussion of Freedom of Expression. Scanlon first got engaged with Philosophy when he realised a tension between the undesirability of people expressing misleading views and the value of freedom of speech. Scanlon believes in the value of an open society, that is one in which the legitimacy of political institutions in part depends on the possibility of citizens objecting to or protesting about the activities of the state.
In his earlier writing on freedom of expression he emphasized autonomy and how freedom of expression acknowledged autonomy. He mentions several legitimate restrictions on freedom of speech that he has come to accept such as not being permitted to describe how to make nerve gas at home in your sink, and the possible legitimacy of intervening to stop free communication between conspirators. He does, nevertheless defend the idea that a price of having an open society (which is what we want and need) is that we should tolerate advocacy of views to which many of us object.
In passing he makes the interesting point that we are far more likely to accept as appropriate a government that curtails free expression relating to false advertising, than one that censors political views, on the grounds that governments are likely to be more neutral and objective about the former than the latter.
and that these are pre-requisites of a flourishing academic life. The Internet facilitates plagiarism, which can be carried out privately; the most successful plagiarists may never be caught. Policing this with plagiarism-detecting software is a heavy-handed solution. Far better to cultivate respect for the values of academic integrity...He also touches on the interesting question of whether the kinds of virtual identities possible on the Internet might undermine integrity by disrupting out continuity as moral selves.
If you have RealPlayer you can watch and listen here to a talk I gave at a recent conference on Museums and Art History at Tate Modern. I discuss the part played by juxtaposition in understanding works of art. My opening remarks are a reaction to the preceding presentation by Steve Edwards in which I took him to be presenting a somewhat elitist view of the role of art museums.