Anthony O'Hear

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Anthony O'Hear is an academic and conservative activist holding a Buckingham University, endowed Chair, the Garfield Weston Professor of Philosophy.[1] He was a Government special adviser on education for almost a decade under Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s Governments, and has sat on the boards of the School Curriculum Assessment Authority, The Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Training Agency.[2]


Academic Freedom

O'Hear takes the standard approach to Academic Freedom - as here in 2004 - in focusing on the pursuit of truth:

In liberal democracies we believe that truth is important, and that truth is most likely to emerge in an atmosphere of free inquiry, even if this involves unpopular lines of thought and assaults on conventional pieties.[3]

In his view, however, such ideals are undermined in practice largely by the left:

Sadly, universities are not the bastions of academic freedom they should be, nor do all academics subscribe to the notion themselves. Try taking an unpopular line on race or gender in a university department of education or sociology and see how far you get. A whole procession of “right-wing” academics finds it impossible to get taken seriously in the academic world because of their politically incorrect views.[3]


Social Affairs Unit, Trustee circa 2002 [4] | Centre for the Study of Liberty, University of Buckingham | Reform, advisory council [5]



  • Karl Popper (1980)
  • What Philosophy Is (1985)
  • The Element of Fire (1989)
  • An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (1990)
  • Beyond Evolution (1997)
  • After Progress (1999)
  • Introducing Christianity (2000)
  • Philosophy in the New Century (2001)
  • Plato's Children (2006)
  • The Great Books: From The Iliad and The Odyssey to Goethe's Faust: A journey through 2,500 years of the West's classic literature (2007)

Articles and reports


  1. Buckingham University Department of Education >> Staff , accessed 3 September 2010
  2. Department for Education Members: Teachers’ Standards Review Group: Professor Anthony O’Hear, accessed 18 April 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anthony O'Hear 'Cambridge makes a monkey of academic freedom', The TimesJanuary 28, 2004
  4. Social Affairs unit Marketing the Revolution, p.11, accessed 18 April 2011
  5. Reform our People, accessed 18 April 2011
  6. Author defends Diana criticism BBC News, Friday, April 17, 1998 Published at 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK