From Department of Philosophy, New York University

Department of Philosophy
5 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
P: 212 998-8320
F: 212-995-4179

Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.

4th April 2017

Dear Minister Balog,

In light of pending legislation that, if enacted, would jeopardize the continuing operation of the Central European University or at the very least endanger its independence, we – the Philosophy Department of New York University – write to express our support for the Central European University, and our concern about the Hungarian government's apparent attack on academic freedom and excellence.

The CEU is one of the few remaining independent cultural institutions in Hungary, and the most prominent and prestigious university in all of East-Central Europe. Many faculty members from our department and other departments with whom we have close relations have worked with colleagues at CEU, participated in its conferences and highly-regarded summer schools, and were visitors at the CEU Institute for Advanced Study.

Universities, when free to pursue ideas unfettered by political pressures and restrictions, are vital for anydemocracy truly to thrive. Given this, we urge the Hungarian government to reconsider this  necessary and regrettable legislation.

Prof. Robert Hopkins
Chair, on behalf of the Department of Philosophy, New York University

CC: Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary Office of the Prime Minister Prof. Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector, Central European University To: CC:,,