Envisioning the Modern University: Schelling’s Jena Lectures
A lecture by Bruce Matthews
Thurs. Nov 13
Reception continues after the talk
Smith Warehouse, Bay 4
Reception at 4:30pm
Schelling’s lectures of 1802 challenge us to not only reconsider the role of research and teaching, as well as the cultural and ethical mission of the university, but to consider that the university is condemned to failure if it cannot offer students and society a convincing account of how learning and knowledge are themselves an absolute good. In doing this he announces the fight against two enemies of the arts and sciences: those who would see the university “transformed into industrial training schools,” and the more systemic “fragmentation” caused by the “specialization” of the disciplines. Both these external and internal threats cause “knowledge” itself, understood as the goal of the university, to be “lost sight of in an ever narrower concern for means and institutions.” These remarkably contemporary claims are just the opening salvo in an analysis of the university relevant to today’s debates on higher education.