Charles Collier

Charles W. Collier

Affiliate Professor of Philosophy

Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611


(352) 273-0965

(352) 392-3005

Charles W. Collier is Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Florida.  He holds a law degree from Stanford and a doctorate in Philosophy from Yale.  He was a DAAD Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Heidelberg and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow in Law at the Universities of Frankfurt and Göttingen.  His work in First Amendment law, Constitutional law, intellectual history, and interdisciplinary legal theory has appeared in such journals as Critical Inquiry, Dissent, Legal Theory, Ethics, Critical Review, Inquiry, History and Theory, Duke Law Journal, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte.  He is editor of Basic Themes in Law and Jurisprudence (LexisNexis, 2000) and author of Meaning in Law: A Theory of Speech (Oxford University Press, 2009).   Professor Collier's scholarship can be found on:


J.D., Stanford University; Ph.D., Yale University; DAAD Fellow, Universität Heidelberg; M.Phil., Yale University; M.A., Yale University; B.A., Reed College

Teaching and Scholarship

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory; American Legal Thought; Constitutional Law; Interdisciplinary Legal Philosophy; First Amendment Theory and the Philosophy of Language; Legal and Intellectual History; Intellectual Foundations of the Humanities and Social Sciences; and Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy

Professional Activities

  • University of Florida: Joined College of Law faculty as Assistant Professor of Law in 1986. Named Associate Professor (1989), Professor of Law (1992), and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy (1994).
  • Previous Educational Experience: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Universities of Frankfurt and Göttingen (1990-95); Faculty Member, St. John's College, Annapolis (1979-81); Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii (1977-79); Teaching Fellow, Yale University (1974-75).
  • Law Clerk to Hon. Irving L. Goldberg, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1985-86.

First Amendment Law (2 or 3 credits) - LAW 6930

  • Analyzes and criticizes philosophical and legal bases of important contemporary restrictions on freedom of expression. Connections with larger issues of tolerance and related principles of First Amendment law also pursued.
    Prerequisites: Constitutional Law (LAW 5501).

First Amendment Theory (2 credits) - LAW 6936

Supreme Court Workshop (2 credits) - LAW 6936


  • Meaning in Law: A Theory of Speech. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. ix + 194
    Reviewed: 123 Harvard Law Review 1812 (2010)
  • Basic Themes in Law and Jurisprudence. LexisNexis, Anderson Publishing Co., 2000. Pp. xviii + 486.


  • The Death of Gun Control: An American Tragedy, 41 Critical Inquiry 102-131 (2014)
  • The Death of Gun Control: An American Tragedy, Critical Inquiry Web Exclusive [Link]
  • On the Zimmerman Case Verdict . . . , In the Moment: The Critical Inquiry Blog (July 16, 2013) [Link]
  • Gun Control in America: An Autopsy Report, 60:3 Dissent 81 (2013)
  • An Inefficient Truth, 23:1-2 Critical Review 29-71 (2011)
    Reviewed: The Deal Economy (June 16, 2011). The Huffington Post (June 21, 2011).
  • Review of Steven J. Heyman, Free Speech and Human Dignity, 119 Ethics 367-72 (2009)
  • Presidential Debates and Deliberative Democracy, 117 Yale Law Journal Forum (16 June 2008) [Link]
  • Terrorism as an Intellectual Problem, 55 Buffalo Law Review 815-40 (2007)
  • Speech and Communication in Law and Philosophy, 12 Legal Theory 1-17 (2006)
  • Review of Owen Fiss, The Law as It Could Be, 116 Ethics 412-16 (2006)