No, no, no, no, no, no, Mr. Suit! (More on the Middlesex Philosophy Closure)

Sarah Amsler, “Saving Philosophy from the Suits”:

However, the anaesthetized method of this closure is also a purifying and perhaps transformative revelation: the emperor has finally admitted there are no clothes. It is not about education or research or knowledge after all. The decision did not need to be convincing in academic, professional or pedagogical terms. It was, as the dean said, ‘simply financial’. We knew it all along, but now it is confirmed: no philosophy, no matter how good, can be evaluated according to what Max Weber once called the ‘sheer market principle’. And in a world of capitalist realism, nothing that is beyond the value of profit can have recognisable public value at all. There. Perhaps now we can liberate ourselves from the temptation to valorise intellectual work by squeezing it into the narrow, instrumentalist criteria of what Alex Callinicos has called the ‘Orwellian’ inspired Research Excellence Framework, in the hope that we will find spaces there to create critical possibilities. Perhaps we will finally realise that there are — as yet — no ears to receive arguments about the importance of humanizing education, the power of ideas and research to transform the world, or the necessity of critical capacity in a frighteningly possibility-limiting social system. These should not be revelations at this very late stage in the long march of capital through our cultural institutions. Yet we remain incredulous.

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Filed under critical thought, student movements

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