As a Senior Lecturer in French at Cambridge University, whose research specializes in contemporary French philosophy, I am writing to you as members of the University’s Board of Governors to join the international outcry opposing the decision to close the Philosophy programmes and the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex. Philosophy at Middlesex is a genuinely world-leading set-up, staffed by internationally-respected researchers whose work is at the very forefront of its field. Those of us working in related fields not just in the UK, but throughout the world, have become accustomed, in recent years, to look to Philosophy at Middlesex as a signal indicator of leading research. If the Department’s results in the most recent RAE were not sufficient to confirm its activity as world-leading and internationally excellent, the storm of international protest generated by this ill-thought-through decision surely has been. This extraordinary level of support plainly demonstrates the worldwide eminence of this Department, and offers some indication of the immense damage the University will do to its standing if it fails to reconsider this ill-judged and poorly-founded move. Protests against this decision have described it as an ‘act of wilful self-harm’ by the University. Based on my knowledge of the research excellence of Philosophy at Middlesex and its outstanding international profile, not to mention the global esteem to which the recent outcry bears eloquent witness, I find it hard to disagree with this description.
CB3 9ET UK