Thane Naberhaus, the tenured associate professor of philosophy at Mount St. Mary’s University who was one of several recently fired or demoted by the university’s president, Simon Newman, and then, last Friday, reinstated, sent along the following statement Sunday evening:
Having been reinstated as a member of the Mount St. Mary’s faculty, I have decided to return to the classroom beginning tomorrow.
For my 8:00 a.m. lecture class I will be teaching on the scheduled topic, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, in which Plato presents his radical notion that education is not a matter of filling the mind with knowledge, but of turning the soul toward Truth.
My return to teaching has nothing to do with accepting the “mercy” of President Newman. (It should be remembered that the charges against me still have not been specified.) Rather, I am returning for my students, who were left without a replacement for me last week. My aim in returning is the same as my aim in teaching generally: to deepen the hunger for truth in my students.
I invite my colleagues at the Mount and other universities to join me in solidarity by exploring, in whatever way they deem appropriate, similar themes in their classes this week. I hope some of you will post in the comments any plans you may develop along these lines. Thank you for your continued support—of me, and more importantly of the principles of academic freedom and the sober, fearless pursuit of truth.