The Philosophy Department is committed to building and maintaining a strong community in which everyone feels comfortable, safe, and supported, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, cultural or religious background, or physical handicap.
As one component of this project, the Department has developed a statement of values. The statement is intended to make explicit some of the core values that we share as a community. These core values are expressed in the following general guidelines.
- Be respectful
- Be inclusive
- Be constructive
The purpose of the statement is threefold. First, in making explicit and affirming a statement of values we express to all members of the community our commitment to building and sustaining a strong community in which everyone can thrive academically and professionally. We believe that this in itself makes a contribution to developing and supporting the kind of community we want to have. Second, in making explicit and affirming a statement of values, we as a community make salient norms that we think are important and encourage reflection on how they can be expressed in various contexts within the community, e.g., in classrooms and seminars, at departmental events, in offices, in colloquia, and so on. We believe that reflection on the kind of community we wish to develop and on what is required to sustain it will help us to identify and to take practical steps to realize it. Third, we believe that developing a statement of values that has buy-in from all constituencies in the department is itself a process that helps to develop a sense of community that binds all of these constituencies together in pursuit of a common goal.
The statement of values is intended to be fully consistent with academic freedom, and, indeed, to attempt to restrict someone’s academic freedom is a violation of respect. The statement makes no substantive assumptions about the nature of philosophy aside from its being an intellectual pursuit in which reaching conclusions on the basis of reasons is a regulative ideal.
The statement of values was adopted by the faculty and graduate students in the Indiana University Philosophy Department in March 2016. The statement may be read here in its entirety, with commentary, explanations, and examples.