Feather letter

30 April 2010

Dear Mr. Driscoll,

It was with disbelief that I read about the closure of the Philosophy programme at Middlesex. Philosophy at Middlesex has achieved some remarkable things, not least of which was to loosen the stranglehold of Oxford philosophy on intellectual  life by establishing a base for European thought in the UK.   Philosophy at Middlesex further developed a graduate school with high quality graduands who could make an impression in the area of publication and debate.

Whilst it may be the case that other subjects, business studies, for example,  can make more money for the University this has never been the sole criterion of academic worth or viability. Life in the UK depends also on the ability to advance intellectual freedom, to debate, reason about the conditions of life we find ourselves in and to think clearly about the kinds of future world that are desirable. From your decision it looks as though  where Hitler and Stalin failed to destroy freedom of thought, the freedom to think in a clear and reflexive way as a form of cultural flourishing, the accountants might make a better job of it.

This is a decision you will have to live with.

Dr. Howard Feather,
London Metrolitan University

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