McLennan letter

Date: 11 May 2010 11:11 +0100
From: “G McLennan, Sociology” <>
Subject: Proposed closure of Philosophy at Middlesex

Dear Governors,

In my personal academic capacity, I urge you to revoke the decision to
close the Philosophy programme at Middlesex. I don’t wish to rehearse all
the reasons – aired widely in the press – as to why this excellent group of
colleagues should be supported and showcased rather than chopped, I will
only say that the points for the defence are completely convincing. What I
would wish to add is that in my role at Bristol as Director of the
Institute for Advanced Studies, extremely fruitful linkages between our
leading philosophers, scientists and educationalists are being cultivated
and enhanced. This not only pertains to specialist research fronts (in
relation to current issues in physics, biology and the social sciences),
but more generally in terms of collective hard thinking about what sort of
cultures of knowledge we now need in universities if we are to meet the
double challenge of preserving what is great in the traditional disciplines
and encouraging new interdisciplinary thinking in relation to the
contemporary knowledge economy and educated citizenship. These
interdisciplinary liaisons, in other words, are vital for future thinking
about knowledge, science and society, and so it seems an untimely irony
that just when philosophy’s role in these forward-looking agendas is being
confirmed in some other universities, Middlesex sees fit, in the name of
the priority of the sciences, to phase Philosophy out.  Once again, then, I
hope you will reconsider this short-sighted decision.

Yours sincerely

Professor Gregor McLennan

Gregor McLennan
Professor of Sociology     Director, Institute for Advanced Studies
University of Bristol      University of Bristol
12 Woodland Road           The Royal Fort House
Bristol BS8 1UQ            Bristol BS8 1UJ
Tel: 01179288214/6           Tel: 01179289171/0

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