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.