By Joanna Williams
Universities, as soon as on the vanguard of campaigns for highbrow liberty, are actually bastions of conformity. This provocative booklet strains the death of educational freedom in the context of adjusting rules in regards to the goal of the collage and the character of data and is a passionate name to palms for the facility of educational proposal today.
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Extra resources for Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge
A lack of political constraint led to faster and more innovative intellectual advances. Prussian universities had been inﬂuenced by Wilhelm von Humboldt’s idea of the research university as ‘an academically autonomous institution dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and truth’ (Carr, 2009, p. 6), although this privileging of pure research could be in quite a narrowly specialized way. A signiﬁcant number of American professors had received their degrees from German universities and witnessed the results of such freedoms in action.
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.
X) was enacted that outlawed all writings on religious matters. In 1795, Prussian government ministers ordered the University of Konigsberg to forbid any professor from lecturing on Kant’s philosophy of religion (Gregor, 1979, p. xi). Kant’s work brought him into direct conﬂict with the ‘Biblical theologians’ of his day and he had to write in such a way as to circumvent punitive censorship laws. In his personal correspondence, Kant complained that the Censorship Commission in Berlin met his arguments not with reason but with ‘anathemas launched from the clouds over ofﬁcialdom’ (Gregor, 1979, p.
Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge by Joanna Williams