Open Letter Regarding President Bolsonaro’s Recent Pronouncements on Defunding Philosophy and Sociology (updated)


(UPDATE (5/5/19): I’m bringing this post back up to the top of the main page to increase its visibility. The letter now has over 3,000 signatures. Academics in all disciplines are encouraged to sign.)

Below is a letter responding to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s recent declarations that he is considering a plan to withdraw funding for the study and teaching of philosophy and sociology at public universities in Brazil.

Written by Sergio Tenenbaum (University of Toronto), Alice Pinheiro Walla (University of Bayreuth), and Catarina Dulith Novaes (VU Amsterdam), the letter is open for academics from around the world to sign. (To sign, use the form at the end of the letter.)


Open Letter Regarding President Bolsonaro’s Recent Pronouncements on Defunding Philosophy and Sociology

We, the undersigned academics around the world, would like to express our alarm and concern about President Bolsonaro’s recent claims that he is planning to defund Philosophy and Sociology (and possibly other areas in the Humanities and social sciences). Brazilian public universities have produced internationally recognized major research in both of these areas. Philosophy and Sociology are fundamental disciplines of any modern university, and, given the interdisciplinary nature of the university, defunding them will affect not only research in these specific areas, but also the reputation, and the quality of research and teaching, of Brazilian universities across all areas. In fact, it is ironic that Philosophy is singled out in this respect, as philosophers in Brazil were among the pioneers of paraconsistent logic, a research program that has had impact in such diverse areas as robotics and expert systems for medical diagnosis.

President Bolsonaro implies in his remarks that public funding should flow exclusively to professional schools. These are certainly important programs. However, a democratic society depends not only on its commercial productive output, but also on its social institutions, its understanding of their foundations and governing principles, as well as its understanding of how these policies and institutions affect its population. Research in social sciences and humanities, and especially Philosophy and Sociology, is vital to such an understanding. The contribution of academics to public debates is also of crucial importance to a well functioning democracy.

Students taking courses in these areas learn to think critically about their conditions, and the broader condition of the society and the world around them. But also the wider public and Brazilian society benefit from the intellectual expertise from philosophers and sociologists.

Thus an attack on Philosophy and Sociology, as well as the humanities and social sciences more generally, is an attack on the very fabric of a democratic society. We call on the Bolsonaro government to reconsider such proposals, and we call on all citizens of Brazil to join us in preserving public support of the social sciences and humanities in Brazil.

Regarding President Bolsonaro's Recent Pronouncements on Defunding Philosophy and Sociology

  

OPEN LETTER REGARDING PRESIDENT BOLSONARO RECENT PRONOUNCEMENTS ON DEFUNDING PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIOLOGY

We, the undersigned academics around the world, would like to express our alarm and concern about President Bolsonaro’s recent claims that he is planning to defund Philosophy and Sociology (and possibly other areas in the Humanities and social sciences). Brazilian public universities have produced internationally recognized major research in both of these areas. Philosophy and Sociology are fundamental disciplines of any modern university, and, given the interdisciplinary nature of the university, defunding them will affect not only research in these specific areas, but also the reputation, and the quality of research and teaching, of Brazilian universities across all areas. In fact, it is ironic that Philosophy is singled out in this respect, as philosophers in Brazil were among the pioneers of paraconsistent logic, a research program that has had impact in such diverse areas as robotics and expert systems for medical diagnosis.

President Bolsonaro implies in his remarks that public funding should flow exclusively to professional schools. These are certainly important programs. However, a democratic society depends not only on its commercial productive output, but also on its social institutions, its understanding of their foundations and governing principles, as well as its understanding of how these policies and institutions affect its population. Research in social sciences and humanities, and especially Philosophy and Sociology, is vital to such an understanding. The contribution of academics to public debates is also of crucial importance to a well functioning democracy.

Students taking courses in these areas learn to think critically about their conditions, and the broader condition of the society and the world around them. But also the wider public and Brazilian society benefit from the intellectual expertise from philosophers and sociologists.

Thus an attack on Philosophy and Sociology, as well as the humanities and social sciences more generally, is an attack on the very fabric of a democratic society. We call on the Bolsonaro government to reconsider such proposals, and we call on all citizens of Brazil to join us in preserving public support of the social sciences and humanities in Brazil.

**your signature**

4,871 signatures

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Please sign the open letter using the above form. Note that though a valid email is required, your email address will not be publicly displayed nor used for any other purpose.

(Note: I have been informed that upon initially opening this page, in some browsers the above widget states that zero people have signed the letter. This is false. As of May 5th, there are over 3000 signatories. For those experiencing this problem, the actual number of signatories, as well as their names, will be visible after you sign the letter and refresh the page. Thanks to those who reported this issue.)

Latest Signatures
4,871 Mr Marcelo Vieira Usp May 23, 2019
4,870 Mr Raymond RAVEL May 23, 2019
4,869 Ms Taras Shiyan Foundation for the Humanities May 23, 2019
4,868 Dr. María Carreira May 23, 2019
4,867 Mrs Marilene Oliveira May 23, 2019
4,866 Ms Lou Sompairac Université Côte-d'azur May 23, 2019
4,865 Mr Victor Siqueira May 23, 2019
4,864 Ms Gabriela Noujaim May 22, 2019
4,863 Dr. Richard Pressman St. Mary's University of San Antonio May 22, 2019
4,862 Mr Fernando Da Silva Vilanova May 22, 2019
4,861 Mr Gustavo Burla May 22, 2019
4,860 Mrs Pollianna Mendes da Silva Alves May 22, 2019
4,859 Ms Fabrício Miranda May 22, 2019
4,858 Miss Ana Dias Universidade de São Paulo May 22, 2019
4,857 Ms Camila Silva May 22, 2019
4,856 Mr Ricardo Pimenta Unicamp May 22, 2019
4,855 Ms Renata Portugal May 22, 2019
4,854 Mr Fabio Ribeiro May 22, 2019
4,853 Ms Romina Cruz May 22, 2019
4,852 Mr João Alberto Ferreira May 22, 2019
4,851 Ms Mônica Torreão May 22, 2019
4,850 Mr Leonardo Baruffaldi Federal Institute of Sao Paulo May 22, 2019
4,849 Mr Rodrigo Lisboa May 22, 2019
4,848 Miss Elisete Cotta May 22, 2019
4,847 Ms Fernanda Bevilaqua May 22, 2019
4,846 Ms Marcelo de Troi Ufba May 22, 2019
4,845 Dr. Marcelo Gleiser May 22, 2019
4,844 Ms Christelle Portes Université d'Aix-Marseille May 22, 2019
4,843 Dr. Carlo Penco University of Genova, Italy May 22, 2019
4,842 Ms Dounia Dhaou May 22, 2019
4,841 Mr Benjamin Bourcier ESPOL Catholic University of Lille May 22, 2019
4,840 Dr. Begonya Enguix Universitat Oberta de Catalunya May 22, 2019
4,839 Mr Antoine Cazorla Aix-Marseille Université May 22, 2019
4,838 Mrs Aina Parareda UB May 21, 2019
4,837 Mr Guiraud Noé May 21, 2019
4,836 Ms Cynthia Weight May 21, 2019
4,835 Dr. João Hobuss UFPel May 21, 2019
4,834 Dr. Corinne A. Pernet University of Geneva May 21, 2019
4,833 Mr Roger Marques de Andrade May 21, 2019
4,832 Mr hILD gUY May 20, 2019
4,831 Dr. Edwige Lelievre Universite de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines May 20, 2019
4,830 Ms Barbara Zocal Da Silva Universidade de São Paulo May 20, 2019
4,829 Mr José Seoane Universidad de la República May 20, 2019
4,828 Mrs Esther Navarro CECM May 20, 2019
4,827 Dr. Eric Haywood University College Dublin (Italian Studies) May 20, 2019
4,826 Mr Fabian Hundertmark May 20, 2019
4,825 Mr Fabian Deter Center for Technology and Society, TU Berlin May 20, 2019
4,824 Ms Anna López Vegas Institut Català d'Antropologia May 20, 2019
4,823 Ms Leandros Kyriakopoulos May 19, 2019
4,822 Dr. Sotirios Tsiouris Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece May 19, 2019
4,821 Mx. EMERSON NORONHA University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate Candidate. May 19, 2019
4,820 Mr Eric D. Weitz City University of New York May 19, 2019
4,819 Dr. Louise Hickman May 19, 2019
4,818 Dr. Nadia Setti university Paris 8 May 19, 2019
4,817 Ms Klaudia Kot May 19, 2019
4,816 Dr. Aurora González Echevarría Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona May 19, 2019
4,815 Mr William Cooper Baylor University May 18, 2019
4,814 Dr. Marisela Montenegro Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona May 18, 2019
4,813 Dr. Flávio Zimmermann Universidade federal da fronteira sul May 18, 2019
4,812 Ms Desroches Bernard Université Jean Lumière Lyon May 18, 2019
4,811 Miss Maria Gallego Universidad de La Sabana May 18, 2019
4,810 Mrs Tania Magdinier May 18, 2019
4,809 Mrs Fernanda Noronha May 18, 2019
4,808 Mr Leandro Santos Costa Faculdade Unyleya May 17, 2019
4,807 Ms Leandro Santos Costa Faculdade Unyleya May 17, 2019
4,806 Mr VICTOR ARDITTI ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI - GREECE May 17, 2019
4,805 Mr Emilios Cambouropoulos AUTH, Greece May 17, 2019
4,804 Mr Richard Lair Cégep de Victoriaville May 17, 2019
4,803 Dr. Costas Haitoglou ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI May 17, 2019
4,802 Dr. Maria Lazaridou May 17, 2019
4,801 Dr. Judith Butler University of California, Berkeley May 17, 2019
4,800 Mrs Ivone Puig Artigas May 17, 2019
4,799 Mr Jérôme Bau AMU May 17, 2019
4,798 Dr. Michael Contadakis Aristotl University of Thessaloniki May 17, 2019
4,797 Dr. Joannis Markopoulos Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Greece May 17, 2019
4,796 Ms Leticia Carvalho Université Paris VIII May 17, 2019
4,795 Dr. Sarantis Dimitriadis May 17, 2019
4,794 Dr. VASILEIOS DAGDILELIS UNIVERSITY OF MACEDONIA May 17, 2019
4,793 Dr. ALEXANDROS GARYFALLOS ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI May 17, 2019
4,792 Dr. KYRIAKOS PANAYIOTOPOULOS PROFESSOR EMERITUS May 17, 2019
4,791 Mr Constantin Stamatis Aristotle University of Thessaloniki May 17, 2019
4,790 Mr George Grollios Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece May 17, 2019
4,789 Dr. Georgios Agelopoulos Aristotle University of Thessaloniki May 17, 2019
4,788 Dr. Frederico Carvalho OTC-Organization of Scientific Workers-Portugal May 16, 2019
4,787 Ms Aesa Pighini May 16, 2019
4,786 Ms lucie pickersgill May 16, 2019
4,785 Dr. Marianna Nikolaidou Unviersity of California, Los Angeles May 16, 2019
4,784 Ms Sertório de Amorim e Silva Neto Universidade Federal de Uberlândia May 16, 2019
4,783 Mrs Sémiramis LAROSE Université Aix-Marseille May 16, 2019
4,782 Dr. Elisenda Ardevol Open University of Catalonia May 16, 2019
4,781 Ms christophe laventure May 16, 2019
4,780 Mr Ludovic Chevalier May 16, 2019
4,779 Mr Terrolle Daniel May 16, 2019
4,778 Mrs liogier helene May 16, 2019
4,777 Ms Myriam Fransen May 16, 2019
4,776 Ms edith knoops May 16, 2019
4,775 Mr Guillaume Fernandez University of Geneva May 16, 2019
4,774 Mrs Liliane Servais May 16, 2019
4,773 Ms JOÃO CARLOS DE OLIVEIRA May 16, 2019
4,772 Mr BEGUIN Ronan May 16, 2019