Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Our Mission

We believe freedom is foundational to a healthy democracy and a vibrant university community, which are enriched when we learn about and appreciate diverse perspectives.

The Freedom Center was founded in 2008 and is today a University Center in the Office for Research, Innovation & Impact. It provides research, teaching, and programming that is grounded in individual freedom and honors people’s right to constructively disagree.

Our faculty draw from philosophy, politics, economics, law, and ethics to enhance our understanding of the elements that shape individual and societal prosperity. Center scholars also include post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. students in philosophy, and visiting and research fellows we host from universities worldwide.

The Center’s impact comes through research, publications, graduate education, academic programs, and major community events. In all we do, we are committed to integrating multiple disciplinary perspectives, training critical thinkers and fostering constructive public debate.

Director: Mary L. Rigdon
Associate Director: Saura Masconale 


Academic Journals

Top 5

Political Philosophy Program

Freedom Center Programs

Master of Legal Studies in Law & Economics
This online program offers an enhanced understanding of legal, political, and legislative processes. It is ideal for elected officials, high school teachers, and those working in and with the public sector.

Freedom Center Debate Series
Distinguished national and local experts with differing perspectives debate timely issues, advocating for their position and exploring the possibility of finding common ground.

Public Discussion Forums
These flagship panel events create a public space where nationally recognized leaders with expertise in industry, education, and public policy come together to address issues of societal importance. Previous forums have covered women’s equity in sports, the Great Workforce Reshuffling, and how restauranteurs adapted to the pandemic.

Oral History Collection
Approved by the Arizona State Board of Education as a resource for teachers, these mini-documentaries provide compelling first-person accounts of other governing philosophies compared to the United States.

PPEL Undergraduate Summer School
A four-day curriculum that focuses on the practical problems of organizing and running human society. It is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation #62965.

European Summer Schools
Partnerships with prestigious European universities reflect the Freedom Center’s influence as a premier research institution and provide summer programs in philosophy, law, economics, politics, and related disciplines.

Visiting Fellows Program
Scholars are invited to campus to concentrate on their research and interact with UArizona faculty and students. They also present their research, deliver guest lectures and participate in manuscript workshops while in residence.

Journalists in Residence
Award-winning media and thought leaders come to campus and share unique experiences and perspectives that reinforce the free press’s importance in promoting critical thinking and a healthy democracy.

Donate Today

Civil discourse powers progress and learning. Tax-deductible contributions fund scholarships, academic research, educational programs, public events that highlight the importance of freedom to an inclusive society where diversity and differing viewpoints are acknowledged and respected.

Upcoming Events

The Freedom Center and Arizona Center for Judaic Studies Present: An Evening and Oral History Screening with Holocaust Survivor Hanna Zack Miley
Robert C. Robbins, UArizona President; Rep. Ben Toma, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives; and Rep. Alma Hernandez will participate in this free community educational event.

Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.