Download Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the by Joanna Williams PDF

By Joanna Williams

Universities, as soon as on the vanguard of campaigns for highbrow liberty, are actually bastions of conformity. This provocative publication lines the death of educational freedom in the context of adjusting principles in regards to the function of the collage and the character of data and is a passionate name to palms for the ability of educational proposal today.

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Extra resources for Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge

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An emphasis upon distancing the pursuit of facts from the work of individual scholars accelerated the professionalization of knowledge, and science in particular, within the university. One consequence of this was to delegitimize the work of talented amateurs and to promote the idea of the academic professional as expert. As Jonathan Rose points out in The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, in the early part of the nineteenth century it was not uncommon for ‘proletarian naturalists’ to contribute to scientific research: Thomas Edward, the shoemaker-naturalist (b.

As early as the 1940s, Theodor Adorno and his Frankfurt Free to Be Critical 49 School colleagues posed the Holocaust as a logical outcome of the dialectic of enlightenment, scientific thought, and reason (Markle, 1995). In a process explored more fully in Chapters 2 and 6, over the course of the following decades, this view gained traction in the universities. Values that had been associated with the liberal academic project and the scientific method such as rationality, the search for truth, the importance of empirical evidence, public acts of judgement and the potential for individual critical reason, all became discredited.

In Gregor, 1979, p. ix) Kant’s argument is that the professional role affords certain responsibilities which limit free speech; his concept of the scholar, however, was not a professional state functionary but an independent, critically autonomous individual. The Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries marked a paradigmatic break with the intellectual traditions of the medieval period and allowed a concept of knowledge based upon a secular view of truth to come to the fore. Empirical evidence and individual reasoning replaced religious faith.

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