The Honor Roll: American Philosophers
Professionally Injured During the McCarthy Era

The thirteen philosophers named here would correspond to about 78 in 
today's profession, which is roughly six times as large as it was in
those 
days. None of them, to my knowledge, has ever been commemorated in any
way 
by the American philosophical profession.

John McCumber

I. Albert Blumberg, Johns Hopkins; philosopher of science and editor of 
Philosophy of Science; spent ten years in the middle of his career
working 
on a bookstore (personal statements from colleagues in the profession). 
Later employed at Rutgers.

II. Robert Colodny earned a doctorate in history and philosophy from the 
University of California at Berkeley in 1950. According to George Reisch,

he worked primarily in technical philosophy of science. In 1961, while he

was in the History Department at the University of Pittsburgh, Colodny
was 
accused by a State Representative of being a Communist sympathizer. He
was 
called before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities (HUAC), where
he 
testified that he had been misquoted and was not a Communist. The
committee 
took no action against him. Pitt's administration then conducted its own 
sixmonth inquiry, and cleared him again. Colodny taught at Pitt 25 more 
years. In 1970, he wrote: "A university can never be more certain that it

is properly functioning than when its faculty is accused of subversion, 
because then some entrenched idea is under assault and some traditional 
holder of power feels the tempest of new and renewing ideas." (I am 
including Colodny here, even though he was in a history department,
because 
I realized that that any reason for not considering him a philosopher
would 
also apply to me.)

III. Irving Copilowish concealed his previous membership in a Trotskyist 
group when he was hired at Michigan in 1948. Upon realizing that his 
deception would be discovered, Copilowish confessed to his colleagues. 
William Frankena, Chair of the Department, then certified that
Copilowish, 
as a logician, was "free of Marxist bias" in both his life and his ideas.

Copilowish changed his name to "Copi" and wrote a standard logic textbook

(Hollinger 178179)

IV. Barrows Dunham, chair of the philosophy department at Temple 
University, was subpoenaed by HUAC in February, 1953. Though the Temple 
administration encouraged him to cooperate with the Committee, he gave
only 
his name, age, and home address before taking the Fifth Amendment. He was

tried for this, and was acquitted in 1955. But Temple had already fired 
him, in September 1953. His position was restored-in 1981 (Schrecker
209212).

V. David Hawkins, a philosopher of science at the University of Colorado,

was summoned before HUAC late in 1950; he talked about himself (though
not 
about others), and had tenure. He therefore kept his job; but the 
University Board of Regents ordered an investigation into the entire 
Philosophy department, which ended the career of Morris Judd (q.v.; 
Schrecker 249f)

VI. Morris Judd was an untenured professor at the University of Colorado.

He told investigators hired by the Board of Regents (see above, "David 
Hawkins") that he was not a Communist, but refused to further discuss his

politics. He was fired over the protests of the Philosophy Department, 
which considered him its most promising instructor. Judd spent his
working 
life managing the office in his family's junkyard. The  Regents refused
to 
make the report against him public until May, 2002. At that time Judd 
finally saw the testimony that had ended his career fifty years before.
The 
chief witnesses were identified as "A" and "B." (Schrecker 250, personal 
correspondence)

VII. Jacob Loewenberg, a Berkeley Hegel scholar, was fired after 35 years

of service because he refused to take the California loyalty
oathapparently 
the only philosopher there to be so dismissed. Eventually, having reached

retirement age, Loewenberg was given emeritus status (Gardner 229, 268).

VIII. V. J. McGill was fired from Hunter College and moved to San 
Francisco, where he spent his career as a lecturer in philosophy at San 
Francisco State. During the student revolt of 1968, Sidney Hook contacted

newly appointed Chancellor S. I. Hayakawa and attempted to get McGill
fired 
from his lectureship (personal interview with colleagues).

IX. Stanley Moore had joined the philosophy department at Reed College in

Oregon after a job offer from Brooklyn College was rescinded because one
of 
his letters of recommendation called him "a fanatical Marxist, both in 
theory and in practice." He thought that Reed's reputation for tolerance 
would help him when he appeared before HUAC in June, 1954. But the 
toleration was extended, it turned out, only by the faculty; Moore was 
fired by the Board of Trustees in August. The Board of Trustees admitted 
that its action with respect to Moore had been wrongin 1978 (Schrecker
236240).

X. William Parry, of the University of Buffalo, appeared before HUAC in
May 
of 1953. He had already stated publicly that while he was willing to talk

about himself, he would not give the names of other people. The only way
to 
accomplish this without being cited for contempt was to take the Fifth 
Amendment, which he did. This unfortunately violated the University's 
policy-issued on the very day Parry received his subpoena-that faculty 
members should "testify fully and frankly" if called upon by a
legislative 
committee. Parry managed to keep his job, but his tenure was revoked the 
next month (Schrecker 205207). It was later restored (personal testimony 
from colleague).

XI. Herbert Phillips was fired from the Philosophy Department at the 
University of Washington in January 1950, in what Schrecker calls "in
many 
ways the most important academic freedom case of the entire cold war" 
(Schrecker 94108, 320). University President Raymond B. Allen wrote that 
Phillips and his colleague Joseph Butterworth, an English professor, "by 
reason of their admitted membership in the Communist Party ... (were) 
incompetent,  intellectually dishonest, and derelict in their duty to
find 
and teach the truth" (CAF p. 40). As a result of this case, Allen became
a 
national spokesman for academic Red hunting. Phillips spent the rest of
his 
life working as a ship's scaler on the Seattle waterfront (Schrecker 44f,

104; also see http://www.Washington.edu.research/showcase/1950a.html).

XII. Melvin Rader, a philosophy professor at the University of
Washington, 
denied ever having joined the Party, though he had worked on behalf of
the 
Loyalists during the Spanish Civil War. While being investigated by the 
State of Washington's Canwell Committee (the state "UnAmerican Activities

Committee"), he discovered that the committee had suppressed exonerating 
evidence, and that one of the witnesses against him given perjured 
testimony. Though the State of Washington then attempted to extradite the

witness, George Hewitt, from his home in New York, the attempt failed 
(Schrecker, 38, 96).

XIII. Forrest Wiggins, the first AfricanAmerican to become a tenuretrack 
professor in a major research program (at the University of Minnesota),
was 
fired in December, 1951. When asked by his Dean how his views differed
from 
those of the Communist Party, Wiggins replied that since he was not a 
Communist he did not know what the Party's views were. In spite of the 
strenuous efforts of the Philosophy department and the student body, the 
Board of Regents refused to reconsider the matter (Jonas, 260264)


Sources

Communism and Academic Freedom: The Record of the Tenure Cases at the 
University of Washington Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1949 
(cited as "CAF")
David P. Gardner, The California Oath Controversy   Berkeley: University
of 
California Press, 1967
David Hollinger "Religion, Ethnicity, and Politics in American
Philosophy: 
Reflections on  McCumber's Time in the
Ditch Philosophical Studies 102 (2002) pp. 173181.
Gilbert Jonas, One Shining Moment: A Short History of the Student World 
Federalist Movement, 19421953 San Jose:
iUniverse. 2001
Ellen Schrecker. No /vory Tower New York: Oxford University Press. 1986


NB: Please feel free to circulate this on the Internet, but if you do I
ask 
you to include these introductory comments.  This is what I know so 
far.  Thought I have sources and have cited them, future corrections to 
some of this information are likely.  Addition of further names is even 
more so. . . . Pacific Division, APA, attempted to organize a session at 
its 2003 meetings [to commemorate these victims], but invitations were 
declined because of difficulty of travel.

 John McCumber


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