Board of Governors
Middlesex University in London
London NW4 4BT
May 22, 2010
Dear Members of the Board,
I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms your decision to suspend from Middlesex University students of philosophy and professors Peter Hallward and Peter Osborne. I have no doubt that your decision constitutes a scandalous attempt to silence and destroy free inquiry into truth and justice, the endeavor that formerly constituted the globally-admired project of the Middlesex University. It is not too late to change your course of action. I urgently call on you to abandon this threat to academic freedom, to withdraw from the cowardly paravent of your ‘property,’ and to take immediate, concrete measures to reaffirm that the university is defined not as a site for harassment, silencing, and police persecution, but one dedicated to the pursuit of truth. Should you persist, however, your attempts to silence those to whom you are in debt will in due course take their small place in history beside your more illustrious colleagues such as Grapin and Husák.
In solidarity with our colleagues and friends who have not hesitated to risk their well-being and very means of existence in the name of Truth, the spirit of Philosophy that you trample underfoot, I ask you to reconsider your decision, and to return Middlesex University to the global community of scholarship. Middlesex University defines itself as ‘Committed to […] innovative research, scholarship and professional practice.’ I ask you to do nothing more than to act with integrity, and to hold yourself to these values and the mission that you yourselves take to define your institution. These colleagues have put us all in their debt, proceeding unflinchingly as though they lived in a world in which one need not lose their job for publicly pursuing the wisdom they are contractually engaged to seek. In other times and places, a Socrates or Patočka would lose their life fulfilling this pursuit, and you have no doubt acted admirably in showing such restraint.
Dr. F. Nick Nesbitt, Senior Lecturer
Centre for Modern Thought, French
University of Aberdeen