APA statement on bullying and abuse

The APA has released a statement of their opposition to bullying and abuse.  As I note in my comment here, it’s a remarkable reflection of the state of our profession that this is controversial.

From Inside Higher Ed:

As for the APA statement, [George Yancy] said that the association “is encouraging philosophers (and nonphilosophers) not to engage in threatening discourse, nasty putdowns, racist and sexist insults. It is seeking forms of discourse that are critical, but not filled with hatred or derogatory personal attacks or insults. In my case, after viewing many of the messages that I received in response to ‘Dear White America,’ I think that the APA wisely took this as an important opportunity to speak out against what was/is clearly unacceptable violent and racist discourse and to show support for members who engage in various forms of public philosophy, especially forms that challenge crucial issues of our contemporary moment. There is so much more work that needs to be done as the APA rethinks its identity, but it is on the right track and I am thankful for that.”


2 thoughts on “APA statement on bullying and abuse

  1. I’m not a philosopher, but an historian and a proud feminist. I just wanted to say how pleased I was to read this statement and, specifically, the insightful comment by Jennifer Saul pointing out that the very fact that controversy exists over this statement is an indicator of the overall state of affairs of this profession, at least, and also academia as a whole, plus western society writ large.

  2. I agree that it is remarkable that there is controversy over the APA letter. Having looked at some of the comments on one blog, I wonder how deeply the problem goes. There is now quite a bit of literature about ‘mobbing’, which has become a somewhat technical term for bullying and harassment. One thing that is very clear is that mobbing is detrimental to one’s health, sometimes in a very serious way. Heart attacks and suicide are two significant results in academia, the second also in younger school bullying.

    I wonder if there is a deeply serious problem in our profession with the understanding of what it is to be a social creature.

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