An Open Letter Concerning Academic Freedom [And in defense of kathleen stock]

by Daniel A. Kaufman

Last week, some of the Usual Suspects in Woke Philosophy published an Open Letter singling out Professor Kathleen Stock of the University of Sussex for condemnation, accusing her of “furthering gender oppression” and “contributing to violence against trans people.” Those who have followed the chronicles of philosophy’s Woke Set published in these pages know that this is only the latest in an ongoing effort to single out, publicly villainize, and organize virtual dogpiles on any philosopher who deviates from what they deem the correct views on sex and gender.

Besides defending Kathleen, whom I have known for almost twenty years and who has never harmed a single soul by way of her work, academic or otherwise, it seems to me that what the Woke Set are trying to do is create a new set of norms within philosophy and academia more generally, with targeting individuals for social vilification and professional censure and shunning as the primary mechanism of enforcement.

I am convinced that free, open, productive academic inquiry cannot survive such norms.  And I believe that when a colleague is viciously and unfairly attacked, we should come to their defense. Hence the following Open Letter, boasting a distinguished list of Signatories.  I invite anyone and everyone concerned with academic freedom and professional decency to join us.





8 responses to “An Open Letter Concerning Academic Freedom [And in defense of kathleen stock]”

  1. Please add my name: James Heartfield, historian, London

  2. I’m afraid you will have to use the online form. I have a dedicated person who is verifying all the requests. I can’t process it here. Thank you for your support!

  3. I adore your writing and logical way of thinking. What if we removed the word “should” from the English language? What if we replaced it “need, want, or will” as valid initiators of true action. The word should is a great deflector and never leads to manifesting the idea or action it is attached to. I hope you will take this on board and write without using this word, (or the word try, another linguistic companion for inhibiting the process of thought, word, deed.) Cheers!

  4. I am not in academia, so will not be signing. But I wholeheartedly support this effort. Keep up the good work.

  5. AcademicLurker

    Props for doing this. It’s good to see some pushback against these smear campaigns.

    Although, between Stock, Tuvel, Pinker, the Harpers letter & etc., how long before departments start asking for an “Open Letters Signed” section on applicants’ CVs? I’m glad I have tenure already.

  6. R. Hutchins

    Thank you Daniel for notifying people about this. It seems these days people no longer respect academia. There is an almost constant deluge of outraged undergrads and political activists who believe they have access to the objective truth and anytime a serious researcher dares to question their Woke Dogma that researcher must be a bigot not worthy of their place in academia. We should give no quarter to this anti-intellectual movement lest we end up in a situation like this:

  7. Timulus

    Science is the lonely ground of academic freedom:

    [I am convinced that free, open, productive academic inquiry cannot survive such norms.]-

    You are only convinced until changes which you agree with can occur; which will you concur?

    So, what has been elucidated herein?

    Dr. Stephen Barr, “God and the Universe: Modern Physics, Ancient Faith”


    Where does whatever is contrary to beliefs and facts originate? SCIENCE & LOGIC!
    The Collective Computation of Reality in Nature and Society

    Scientism and Magic with Dr. E. Michael Jones

    The open letter was brief and concise, nor could I find any particular disagreeing facts.

    The larger concern for all populations on planet earth are nuclear arsenals, string theory, aritificula-intelligence and quantum computation (cognition). [SUPER-INTELIGENT-COGNITIVE-MACHINES]

  8. […] Byrne has brought it to my attention that my Open Letter defending Kathleen Stock and academic freedom in the University, with its sizeable roster of remarkable signatories, is no longer available at Google Sites, where […]