What is a University?

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Shepheard-Walwyn, 2006 - 130 Seiten
Rather like Martin Huntingdon in "The Closing of the American Mind", the author is concerned with the deterioration in the quality of university education. He argues that the true purpose of a university has been lost sight of and needs to be re-established. The word 'university' is in its derivation related to the word 'universe' and suggests wholeness. A university, therefore should be a place where human endeavours to understand the universe are brought together. Twentieth-century specialisation, whilst greatly increasing our knowledge, has unfortunately fragmented it. The author considers it is also necessary to review not only the concept of 'university' but also 'education', and to look beyond the narrow idea of the mere acquisition of knowledge to the more universal ideal of 'wisdom'. This review, he suggests, is best conducted in terms not just of the history of ideas but of a fresh examination of the ideas themselves. To provoke thinking in this direction he asks some very basic questions about a number of ideas related, first to universities themselves, such as education, culture, religion, philosophy, science, literature, language, art, law and music; and second to the world of philosophy: life, being, light, nature, plants, animals, man, woman, evil, time, food, sex and death. Readers are encouraged to rethink everything they have taken for granted about university education. The book is at once traditional, in looking to the sources of the ideal of education, and revolutionary, in undermining modern preconceptions. It is written for the general reader with an interest in university education but dissatisfied with what is on offer at most universities today. The style is, therefore, free from learned jargon.

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Über den Autor (2006)

\Peter Milward is a professor emeritus of English literature and Western culture at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, and the director of the Renaissance Institute, Tokyo. He is the author of The Catholicism of Shakespeare's Plays, A Commentary on the Sonnets of G. M. Hopkins, and Shakespeare's Religious Background.

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