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Academia Would Be Worse without Tenure: A Response to James E. Bruce

Aeon J. Skoble

Abstract


James Bruce claims that academic tenure does not promote the common good and argues that it fails to deliver on its promise to secure academic freedom. There are at least two ways to understand this. One is that tenure is bad because what it is trying to do is bad. Another is that tenure is bad because, while it is trying to do something good, it does it ineffectively. While many critics of tenure seem to base their animosity on the former view, Bruce’s criticism seems to be closer to the latter: that tenure fails to protect academic freedom, and indeed it makes things worse. While I agree that some of the effects he discusses are indeed negative, I argue that tenure is a net good and that academia would be worse without it.

Aeon J. Skoble, "Academia Would Be Worse without Tenure: A Response to James E. Bruce," Journal of Markets & Morality 22, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 195-199.


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