Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy letter

From: Iain Macdonald []
Sent: May-06-10 5:28 PM
To: ‘
Subject: Closure of Middlesex University’s Department of Philosophy

Dear Ed Esche,

I write to you on behalf of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy, whose membership of around 200 includes professors and researchers from Canada and around the world. We host an annual, international conference and publish a scholarly journal entitled Symposium.

We, the Society’s executive committee, would like to register our dismay and disappointment regarding your recent recommendation, and your university’s subsequent decision, to close Middlesex University’s philosophy department. The consequences of the closure will have a profoundly negative impact on those currently associated with your philosophy department, of course, but Middlesex University as a whole will doubtless suffer as well. Indeed, It is difficult to imagine a university without a philosophy department – and a strong humanities programme more generally. It is even more difficult to imagine Middlesex as a successful institution of higher learning stripped of its most successful and distinguished teachers and researchers.

As you know, Middlesex’s philosophy department is one of its highest RAE-ranked departments. A great number of its members’ publications enjoy international acclaim, many world renowned figures teach there, and many successful academic philosophers were trained there. A serious institution of higher learning need look no further than these criteria to ensure its reputation. To look elsewhere for criteria of success is not to be “forward-looking” or “innovative” in “difficult financial times”; it is to sacrifice the mission of the university as such as a socially necessary institution.

We ask you to reconsider your decision to close Middlesex University’s philosophy department. Not only would its closure have a direct impact on its staff and target clientele, it would have a profoundly negative impact on Middlesex’s international reputation.

Yours faithfully,

Iain Macdonald, President of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy
Professeur agrégé
Département de philosophie
Université de Montréal

Antonio Calcagno, Editor-in-chief of Symposium, Secretary
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario

Jeff Mitscherling, Treasurer
Department of Philosophy
University of Guelph

Christine Daigle, Member-at-large
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
Brock University

Lorraine Markotic, Member-at-large
Associate Professor
Faculty of Humanities
University of Calgary

Marie-Eve Morin, Member-at-large
Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta

Martin Desrosiers, Graduate student representative
Ph.D. candidate
Department of Philosophy
Université de Montréal

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