Readers' reactions

November 27, 1998

Last week in The THES...

Andrew Pakes wrote about being gay. We asked whether academics should be able to come out

Bob Bennett, School of Art and Design, Coventry University

Yes, without question. Andrew Pakes is right that openness involves vulnerability. I have experience of homophobia and of self-censorship. At 60 I am now out to students, colleagues, management. And the returns are very energising. But I am a white, male professional - I do not want to speak for lesbian/gay/bisexual academics who have gender, race, disability, and social class to negotiate as well. I do want to join with all who find in themselves space for this new way of being.

Last week in The THES...

Ray Monk argued that philosophy is not dry and interdisciplinary philosophy is the most interesting.

Ted Smeall, Former lecturer in economics at Glasgow Caledonian University

Philosophical enquiry is an activity open to all from age five upwards. It is not so much interdisciplinary as pre-disciplinary, providing a foundation for all critical and creative thinking. My experience as a practitioner and an observer of philosophy suggests that it would be a valuable aid in developing thinking skills at all levels of education. Philosophy needs cash support for training and space in, for example, the national curriculum and the transferable skills components of higher education courses.

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