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DOI 10.12887/28-2015-1-109-05

Roger SCRUTON – The End of University (trans. Dorota Chabrajska)

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The author examines the history of the Western educational tradition, and warns of the “danger of detaching the university from its social and moral purpose, which is that of handing on both a store of knowledge and the culture that makes sense of it.” According to Scruton, today’s universities increasingly turn against the culture that created them, withholding it from the young. He contrasts the university described by Card. John H. Newman in his The Idea of a University (1852) with the reality of our contemporary universities. While for Newman, a university exist to mold the characters of those who attend it, the primary role of today’s university is becoming a training center for the propagation of needed skills, dedicated to the growth of knowledge.

As opposed to Newman’s times, the culture that today’s universities impart is egalitarian, and “inclusive.” However, the universities of today are affected by the negative consequences of the ubiquitous attitude of political correctness, which is particularly destructive for humanities departments, where the culture of the West is studied with the purpose of repudiating it rather than instilling it in the students. Studies in the humanities are now designed to demonstrate that Western culture has no deeper meaning than the power that it served to perpetuate. Thus, the university, instead of transmitting culture, exists to deconstruct it, to remove its “aura,” and to leave the student, after four years of intellectual dissipation, with the view that anything goes and nothing matters.

Summarized by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: university, Card. John Henry Newman, political correctness, prejudice, inclusion, equality, elitism, egalitarianism, censorship, “living in truth,” Bildung, cultural heritage

The article “The End of University” was originally published in First Things, April 2015 issue. The Editors of Ethos are grateful to the editors of the First Things monthly for their consent to the publication of the Polish translation of this text.

Contact: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1730 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036, United States of America
E-mail: tdavid@pfd.co.uk (Caroline Michel, Roger Scruton’s agent)
Phone:+1 202 6821200

Pliki do pobrania:

» 109_Scruton.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887