To the right honourable Chancellors and Dean of Middlesex University, London (UK)
Paris, April 28, 2010
Chancellors and Dean,
With utmost surprise I learn that Middlesex University has decided to close all its Philosophy programmes. I deplore this decision and ask you to reverse it. The closure of these programmes is a matter not only of national but also of international concern. If confirmed, it would represent a startling stage in the impoverishment of Philosophy provision in the UK.
I have participated in events organised by the Philosophy group at Middlesex or under its auspices (most recently at the French Cultural Institute in London on Postwar Philosophical Trends « From structure to Rhizome »), and I can testify to the significant and distinctive contribution it makes to philosophy in the UK – more generally in Europe. From what I understand, its set of MA programmes is currently the largest in the UK. Philosophy is the most prestigious and highest research-rated subject at Middlesex University. It is now widely recognised as one of the most important centres for the study of modern European philosophy anywhere in the English-speaking world.
With other scholars from several countries, I call on Middlesex University and you personally to reverse this damaging and ill-judged decision, and to renew its commitment to widening participation in education and to excellence in research.
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Université de Paris-Nanterre (France)
Distinguished Professor of Humanities, University of California, Irvine (USA)