April 21, 2013
By S. Matthew Liao
From Wlodek Rabinowicz:
We urgently need your help. The Department of Philosophy in Lund, which is located in Kungshuset – a beautiful 16th century house in the centre of the town which originally was home to the University as a whole – is now on its way to being relocated. In the Spring of 2014, we are supposed to move to a new building, together with other departments in the Joint Faculty of Humanities and Theology. Judging by past experience, the next step after the relocation might well be an administrative merger of the different departments into a huge megadepartment. Such mergers have taken place at other universities and at our university as well.
We want to prevent the relocation, for many reasons, the most important being our desire to retain autonomy and independence. The department consists of three units, Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy and Cognitive Science. The latest research evaluation of Lund University, RQ08, stressed that our present location and infrastructure are noteworthy success factors. The move would involve substantial infrastructural and financial drawbacks for the department – much higher rent and less flexible facilities. It would also unavoidably make divisions between university faculties more salient, while there are good reasons to think that such divisions should be played down rather than emphasized. For a meta-scientific discipline like Philosophy and a cross-faculty enterprise like Cognitive Science this is particularly worrying.
We would like to enlist your support for our struggle. Would you be willing to write to our Vice-Chancellor on our behalf? The message could be as follows:
I would urge you to reconsider the plan to relocate the Department of Philosophy at Lund University. Its present location is strongly conducive to its successful record. Bundling it together with other departments in Humanities and Theology would be hurtful. Emphasizing divisions between faculties in this way does serious damage to a meta-scientific discipline such as Philosophy and a cross-faculty discipline such as Cognitive Science.
Needless to say, this is just a suggestion. You are of course welcome to use any wording you like.
The Vice-Chancellor Per Eriksson’s e-mail address is rektor (at) rektor.lu.se
Also, please cc your message to Björn Petersson, the chairman of the department, prefekt (at) fil.lu.se ,
and to Lynn Åkesson, the dean of the Joint Faculty of Humanities and Theology, lynn.akesson (at) kultur.lu.se
Many thanks for your help!
Professor in Cognitive Science
Erik J. Olsson
Professor in Theoretical Philosophy
Professor in Practical Philosophy