Liverpool’s Philosophy calamity

Depending on what kind of reader you are; you may or may not know of the recent plight of Liverpool University.

I feel reluctant to talk about an issue which is so immediate, especially as one cannot make too much of a difference about it individually, but what I can do is to spread the word. A great many people have mentioned how Liverpool University’s RAE results had disappointed the university authorities. This is such an emotional issue for some people that I will try my best just to relay the information that is available.

Source 1: Melanie Newman, The Times Higher Education (9/03/09)

Inter alia, Liverpool’s philosophy department is facing the possibility of closure, due to a funding shortfall.

Source 2: Philos-L mailing list (10/03/09)

Petitioning is mentioned, an almost universal derision of the proposal of closure. Some individuals are comparing the action to the actions of the Nazi’s. There is an informal formulae that says something like “the longer a topic on an internet forum or mailing list or newsgroup is, the increased likelyhood of the mentioned comparison to the nazis reaches closer to P:1”.

Source 3:
Anthea Lipsett, The Guardian (10/03/09)

Liverpool academics threaten strike if they excise the probability, philosophy and politics departments. This motion has been condemned by Peter Kilfoyle MP (Liverpool) and John Pugh MP (Southport). The proposal to cancel these departments are seemingly motivated by the poor RAE results that go against the university’s aspirations to improve its international reputation.

I am to understand that Liverpool is one of the few, if not, only places to teach Indian philosophy. They also teach Buddhist philosophy and also both analytic and continental strands of philosophy. I consider these reasons completely irrelevant; philosophy in whatever strand is a vital part of the university; no other department is involved with the public in journalism, debate, politics, science, and religion more than philosophy.

Michael

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