An online campaign that was seeking to collect $7,000 to assist a sexual-assault lawsuit against a Yale University philosophy professor has met its fund-raising goal, after some prominent philosophers contributed to the cause.
Emma Sloan, a 2010 Yale graduate, described the fund-raising effort on the campaign’s page, on the FundRazr crowdfunding platform. She said a friend, identified as “Lisbeth,” was suing both an unnamed professor over an alleged sexual assault and Yale “for knowingly protecting him.” The campaign’s $7,000 goal was to cover the retainer for an expert witness in the case. The campaign’s page originally included a lengthy description of the accusing student’s allegations. That was replaced on Monday evening with a sentence stating “content removed due to threats of legal retaliation.”
Leiter Reports, a philosophy blog, said that some noted philosophers had given money to the campaign, which met its goal on Sunday.
A series of sex-harassment cases in philosophy departments has roiled the discipline in recent months. Eric Schliesser, a professor of philosophy and moral sciences at the University of Ghent, in Belgium, wrote a post on his blog explaining why he had donated $100 to support the cause.
He wrote that he had come to believe that “the systematic pattern of exclusion of women in philosophy is, in part, due to the fact that my profession has allowed a culture of harassment, sexual predating, and bullying to be reproduced from one generation to the next.”
Mr. Schliesser said the discipline was “lurching from one scandal to the next,” adding that “the profession has been incapable of self-reform and to do something about its culture of silence.”
He said “lawsuits and the harsh light of publicity” were the best means to erase that culture and encourage reforms.