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2019: A Look Back

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What news and issues concerning the philosophy profession received the most attention in 2019? Among last year’s top stories were a philosopher’s punishment for sexual harassment, the rallying of academics worldwide to defend the study of philosophy in a country in which it was under attack, philosophers commenting on a provocative physics experiment, the philosophy profession’s handling of issues concerning transgender persons, correlations with majoring in philosophy, and others. Gerhard Richter, “Betty” The single most-viewed post at Daily Nous this year reported that well-known philosopher John Searle was stripped of his emeritus status by the University of California, Berkeley, after having been found to have violated the university’s sexual harassment policies. This was the only major news story about sexual harassment in philosophy this year. Related stories included students protesting what they took to be universities’ failures to adequately respond to sexual harassment (here for example, and #5 here). Also, Janice Dowell and David Sobel (Syracuse) wrote a two-part post on sexual harassment and philosophy (part one, part two). (And there was also item #3, here.) Philosophers around the world were jolted by the announcement this past April from Jair M. Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, of his plan to stop government funding of philosophy and sociology in the nation’s public universities, and over 5000 academics signed a letter in response, authored by Sergio Tenenbaum (University of Toronto), Alice Pinheiro Walla (University of Bayreuth), and Catarina Dulith Novaes (VU Amsterdam). Several philosophical organizations also issued statements protesting the plan. So far, the announced threats to philosophy and sociology have not been acted upon. However, there have been substantial (30%) cuts to public university funding across the board and devastating ones (nearly 90%) to the main research agencies that fund. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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