Greg Lukianoff || Free Speech


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Today it is great to have Greg Lukianoff on the podcast. Greg is an attorney, New York Times bestselling author, and the present CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom from Speech, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Most recently, he co-authored The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

Check out Greg and Jonathan’s video on why they dislike the use of the word "coddling" in the title of their book.

Time Stamps

[00:02:39] Why Greg advocates free speech
[00:06:00] The story behind why the former executive director of the ACLU, Ira Glasser, began his fight for civil liberties
[00:07:54] The Bedrock Principle and why you cannot ban something simply because it is offensive
[00:09:42] The limits of free speech and exceptions to the First Amendment
[00:11:19] How Greg’s argument for free speech differs from the traditional argument for free speech
[00:14:38] Addressing the criticism that free speech could incite violence against vulnerable people
[00:16:03] Why we should listen to the arguments of people with whom we strongly disagree
[00:20:13] How to balance arguments for free speech with empathy
[00:22:37] Humor as a coping mechanism for depression
[00:23:14] Greg’s suicide attempt and struggle with depression
[00:27:29] How Greg enjoys helping people who struggle with mental health issues
[00:28:50] How Greg’s thriving after depression can give people hope
[00:29:37] Addressing the stereotype that Greg’s work is always about political correctness, when it is actually often transpartisan
[00:30:08] How hyper-bureaucratized universities can exacerbate mental health problems
[00:33:10] How cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) influenced The Coddling of the American Mind
[00:34:57] The importance of discipline and consistency in the practice of CBT
[00:36:14] The pre-2013 repression of free speech by the administration
[00:38:02] The post-2013 spike of repression of free speech by students
[00:40:23] How anti-free speech administrations taught students habits of anxiety and depression by repressing free speech
[00:43:07] The scary anti-Trump riots after his election in 2016
[00:44:35] Arguments over the title of the book The Coddling of the American Mind
[00:51:07] The six reasons for the sudden spike in anti-free speech activism
[00:55:59] Criticisms against allowing our gender or race identities to define us
[00:57:03] Common enemy identity politics versus common humanity identity politics
[00:59:16] Why compassion is essential
[00:59:57] Naive statism and why we should be cautious when designing laws which repress civil liberties
[01:05:04] Components of Greg’s background which led to his powerful advocacy of free speech on campus
[01:11:26] Greg and his family’s health after a year of injuries, health problems, and bereavement
[01:17:24] Hope that Greg has had since publishing The Coddling of the American Mind

224 episodes