Statement of the Philosophy Program on Antiracism and Inclusivity
Philosophical practice is concerned with developing complex inquiries about all the ways in which the world appears to us and is experienced by us and our communities. As such, it can encourage us to reflect on and ask questions about personal, collective, and structural acts of injustice and multiple and intersecting systems of oppression. To be sure, different philosophical practices provide us with principles and techniques for reassessment of our ideas and institutions and have been concerned with issues of justice. However, philosophy (as a discipline), in the ways it’s been commonly practiced in US academic institutions, has also been a province of the privileged, often unaware of its own biases and its exclusion dynamics, and has tolerated and advanced systems of oppression.
Alongside Butler’s current efforts to confront racism (interpersonally and structurally) and the national conversation on longstanding systemic and structural racism and the disproportionate violence experienced by Black Americans, we, as the philosophy faculty, therefore commit to reexamine our own practices in teaching, in research, and in service to our institution, discipline, and community, to see how we may by our actions better promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. We are grateful to our colleagues and students at Butler who both in their academic work and in their activities outside the classroom have for many years shown a commitment to combat injustice in our community and around the world. Following in their footsteps, we commit to assess, and when necessary, change:
- The place of topics centered on diversity and social justice in our curriculum
- Our pedagogies
- Our approach to our discipline’s history and methods
- How we connect our philosophical inquiries with harm, violence, and injustice experienced by marginalized communities
- Our support of activities of our students outside the classroom that advocate for and enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice
- Our hiring practices and recruitment efforts
We welcome the insights and efforts of our students in helping us live up to these commitments.