Matthew Macdonald

Matthew Macdonald is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at Harvard University. His dissertation addresses the tension facing liberal democracies, between the need to combat misinformation and the need to protect freedom of speech. He argues that the reasons normally thought to support the right to free speech also generate another basic right, which has so far been largely unrecognized: a distinctive right against (certain types of) misinformation. Much of his project involves showing that both of these rights are interlocking and mutually-supporting components of liberal-democratic justice, alongside other distinctively liberal rights such as freedom of movement, religion, and association. He is also interested in the political epistemology of misinformation, propaganda, extremism, and related phenomena, and in regulatory responses to these challenges.

Matthew holds an MA in Philosophy from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Prior to his time at Harvard he was a Policy Adviser at the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.