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Sexual Harassment in Philosophy, Part 2 (guest post by Janice Dowell and David Sobel)

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The following is a guest post* by Janice Dowell and David Sobel, professors of philosophy at Syracuse University, with help from several other philosophers. It is the second in a two-part series on sexual harassment in philosophy. Part 1 is here. Like the first installment, this one was also published at PEA Soup. Professors Dowell and Sobel have included some prefatory remarks for this post: Below is the second installment in our two-part series on sexual harassment in academia. In this installment, we discuss proposals for what individual philosophers and departments can do to prevent harassment and support victims. Some of these proposals will likely be controversial. The ongoing discussion of this topic is important; we hope people will carefully consider our proposals and the rationale offered for them. And while proposals for change frequently come with the risk of creating new problems, we hope people keep in mind that the status quo has very serious costs. Before those who disagree publicly express their dissent, I very much hope they will keep two considerations in mind:  (i) Whether the proposals advocated by the signatories to the statement below are warranted depends very much on what’s known about the rates of harassment and retaliation in academia and their impact on victims. Anyone who is unfamiliar with these facts will find it difficult to reasonably assess these proposals. So, we hope that anyone not yet familiar with the empirical data will first read our initial post. (ii) Survivors and those who advise them will be following public discussions. As we know from private discussions, many who have been harassed have experienced and often continue to experience a good deal of pain. I hope those engaged in public discussions of the proposals below will be mindful of that by choosing their words in a way that does not have the effect of discouraging survivors from coming forward. When they come forward, they provide an important service to our. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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