Becker and Posner: Freedom of Speech and Public Intellectualship (co-authored by Alain Marciano)

This paper analyses what Gary S. Becker and Richard A. Posner have written for various media (either in print or online) that are not strictly aimed at academic audiences. We provide an historical account of how they became interested in such activities, from their first attempts, made independently from each other, to their joint- venture on the internet through the Becker-Posner Blog. In our description of their respective, independent and then collaborative experiences, differences appear between Becker and Posner about how to be a public intellectual, but also similarities as what it means and implies. From this perspective, the blog proves to be a further and crucial step in their career as public intellectuals. Both Becker and Posner use the blog for the freedom and flexibility it offers. They use it to develop a sort of “casual economic thinking” that they push farther than in any of their other writings, even as public intellectuals.Download Paper

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