Save Philosophy at Greenwich

Philosophy at Greenwich is under threat. The petition to save the department is here.

“The situation: The management of the School of Humanities has closed recruitment to the Philosophy programme with immediate effect and are writing to students who have already been given places for Sept 2011 to tell them that these are no longer available. The management are recommending that the Philosophy BA be closed down. This recommendation has to pass through the Academic Planning Committee before it is formally set in stone (but this is only a formality unless we can interrupt it). The Philosophy team were not invited to take part in any of the discussions leading up to this decision, and they have not been presented with any written document detailing the argument for the closure of the programme. The partial statistics that were presented at a school meeting yesterday are out of date and do not in any obvious way support the decision. We have requested proper documentation from the Head of School, but have still not received it. The British Philosophy Association is writing a letter asking the University not to close the programme, which will be signed by Heads of Philosophy departments at other Universities. Past and present students are meeting at the Student Union on Monday at 5pm to discuss how best to protest against the decision.”

Facebook page: Save Philosophy at Greenwich

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Philosophy Seminar, 31 March: Milena Ivanova on Realism in the Philosophy of Science

Philosophy Seminar this week:

Thursday 31 March, 6.30pm.

Milena Ivanova, ‘Can the Realist Solve the Problem of Underdetermination of Theory by Evidence?’

Milena Ivanova is a PhD candidate in the Philosophy Department at Bristol University, where she is writing a thesis on Conventionalism and Structural Realism. She has recently published articles on Pierre Duhem’s philosophy of science and on Michael Friedman’s development of a Kantian approach to the study of scientific revolutions in his Dynamics of Reason.

Place:  Room M004 (Saloon), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ.

Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus.

All welcome.

Please note: the seminar on 31 March replaces the previously announced seminar by David Lapoujade.

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Petition to save Philosophy at Keele

[UPDATE from Keele:]

We are pleased to report that, following constructive discussions with senior management yesterday and the extraordinary meetings of the Faculty Board and Senate today, it has been agreed that the proposal to close down the Philosophy Programme at Keele will be reconsidered and that Philosophy will have a student intake in September 2011.

This does not mean that the future of Philosophy is yet secure, as savings within the broader School still have to be identified by June. Should at that point the proposal to discontinue Philosophy at Keele be revived we may need to call on your help again. But for the moment the signs are encouraging.

We would like to thank everyone for your overwhelming support and help without which we cannot imagine how this result would have been possible!

Philosophy Programme Team


 

[From philosophers at Keele University:]

On Weds March 23rd Senate at Keele University will consider a proposal to close the Philosophy undergraduate degree (with 4 staff) and its Postgraduate Centre for Professional Ethics (9 staff). If Senate appoves the proposal it will go to University Council on April 7th and it will be very difficult to reverse after that.

Keele management have a target to reduce the staff wage bill by at least 6.5 million – and so far voluntary measures have achieved all but 1.8 million of that target. Closing both Philosophy units is estimated to lead to savings of 600k although it is in fact debatable that any savings would necessarily be achieved by doing this. Other cuts are also proposed but the undergraduate degree is the only programme facing closure.

The undergraduate dual honours programme at Keele relies on a core staff of four lecturers assisted by members of the School of Politics and has an annual intake of around 70 students (the equivalent of 35 full-time students). The four are all productive and active reseachers. Even by the strange logic that operates in UK Higher Education – this is value for money. The university’s proposals assume a rapid decline in the undergraduate intake for philosophy – based solely on guesstimates that the number of home students will decline in the new fees market. So to be clear it is not that Philosophy makes a loss, but they fear that it will not be able to generate sufficient profit and rather than give them a chance to prove the unversity wrong they have chosen to close the degree. Similar arguments can be made against the proposal to close Professional Ethics, but the key point is that if Keele is able to push this through, other humanities and social science departments with strong records at many other universities will also be at risk.

Please sign the Save Philosophy petition at:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savephilosophyatkeele

The facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_200915196594313&ap=1

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Philosophy Seminars at Middlesex, Thursday 17 and Thursday 31 March

Two forthcoming Philosophy events at Middlesex:

Thursday 17 March, 6.30pm

Martin Liebscher, ‘Sigmund Freud and his Philosophical Mediators’

Martin Liebscher teaches at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London. He is the co-editor (with Angus Nicholls) of the recent collection Thinking the Unconscious: Nineteenth Century German Thought (Cambridge, 2010), and is the author of many articles on Nietzsche, Jung and Wittgenstein.

Place:  Room M004 (Saloon), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ.

Thursday 31 March, 6.30pm.

Milena Ivanova, ‘Can the Realist Solve the Problem of Underdetermination of Theory by Evidence?’

Milena Ivanova is a PhD candidate in the Philosophy Department at Bristol University, where she is writing a thesis on Conventionalism and Structural Realism. She has recently published articles on Pierre Duhem’s philosophy of science and on Michael Friedman’s development of a Kantian approach to the study of scientific revolutions in his Dynamics of Reason.

Place:  Room M004 (Saloon), Mansion Building.

Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus.

All welcome.

Please note: the seminar on 31 March replaces the previously announced seminar by David Lapoujade.

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Marcus Boon seminar on Badiou and Buddhism, Tuesday 1 March

Philosophy Event at Middlesex, Tuesday 1 March 2011, 5.30pm

Marcus Boon, ‘Buddhism after Badiou: Between Ideology and Practice’

Marcus Boon is a writer and Associate Professor in the English Literature department at York University, Toronto. In his most recent book, In Praise of Copying (Harvard, 2010), he analyses the role of copying in contemporary culture and technology, attempting to explain why copying fills us with “fear and fascination”. Tracing the emergence and development of the concept of the copy in both Western philosophy (from Plato to Heidegger and Derrida) and Asian philosophy (Buddhism and Taoism), he arrives at a theory of ‘depropriation’ that he suggests can help deal with the paradoxes of identity, authenticity and inauthenticity that characterise life in the digital age. He is also the author of The Road to Excess (2002), and numerous articles on contemporary music and poetry.

Place:  Room M004 (Saloon), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ.

Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus.

All welcome.

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Dylan Evans seminar on Lacan, Tuesday 15 February

Philosophy Event at Middlesex, Tuesday 15 February 2011, 5.30pm

Dylan Evans (Cork University): ‘Is Lacanian Psychoanalysis Wrong, or Not Even Wrong?

Dylan Evans is the author of An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis (1996) and several key articles on Lacan’s work (including ‘Science and Truth: An Introduction’). In the late 1990s, dissatisfied with the foundations of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, Evans moved into the field of evolutionary psychology, publishing numerous articles in the area. In his book Emotion: The Science of Sentiment (2001), he elaborated a theory of the evolution of human emotion, and in Placebo: The Belief Effect (2003), he critically examined the theory of the ‘placebo effect’, highlighting the benefits of garcinia cambogia extract, proposing a biochemical explanation for the phenomena associated with it. After researching evolutionary robotics at the University of Bath, in 2003 he became Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Autonomous Systems at the University of West of England. In 2007, he went on to set up the Utopia experiment in the Scottish Highlands. Currently based at Cork University, his recent work focuses on risk intelligence and decision theory. His forthcoming book is entitled Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty. In this seminar he returns to Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and offers new reflections on its relation to science and epistemology.

Place:  Room M004 (Saloon), Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ.

Tube: Piccadilly line to Oakwood station, free bus to campus.

All welcome.

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Middlesex Philosophy Events, January-May 2011

Here is a revised Middlesex Philosophy Seminar and Events schedule for January-May 2011.

Seminars are held on Tuesdays at 5.30pm or Thursdays at 6.30pm, in the Saloon (M004), Mansion Building, Trent Park campus (Piccadilly Line to Oakwood tube, free bus to campus).

Tuesday 25 January, 5.30pm.  Gary Lachman (London): ‘What is Cosmic Consciousness?’

Friday 28 January, 4pm (Room 222). Rosa Nogues: Introduction to French Feminism, part III: Kristeva.

Tuesday 15 February, 5.30pm. Dylan Evans (University College Cork): ‘Is Lacanian Psychoanalysis Wrong, Or Not Even Wrong?’

Tuesday 1 March, 5.30pm. Marcus Boon (York University, Toronto): ‘Buddhism after Badiou: Between Ideology and Practice’

Thursday 17 March, 6.30pm.  Martin Liebscher (Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London): ‘Sigmund Freud and his Philosophical Mediators’

Thursday 31 March, 6.30pm.  Milena Ivanova (Bristol University). ‘Can the Realist Solve the Problem of Underdetermination of Theory by Evidence?’

Thursday 5 May, 2pm-8.30pm. Workshop: ‘Hegel Now?’ With Ali Alizadeh, Katerina Deligiorgi, Ian Jakobi and Slavoj Žižek.

All welcome.

Please note the change of date and topic for Marcus Boon’s talk. Two previously announced seminars, by Robin Le Poidevin (25 January) and Keith Ansell Pearson (3 February), have now been cancelled.

Please direct enquiries to c.kerslake@mdx.ac.uk

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