E.W.Dijkstra Archive: The strengths of the academic enterprise (EWD 1175)

September 4, 2021 ☼ dijkstrauniversityeducation

Source: University of Texas - Link

The unruly nature of academic life, of course, offends the orderly mind, and more than one regime has tried to deal with the problem by doing away with the restless minds, but the measure never had the effect the regime intended: destroy the campus, muzzle your intellectuals, and rapidly life deteriorates in all respects. The explanation is that, with all its aloofness, the university has an essential role to play, viz. to explain to the world the foolishness of its ways. Of course, all religions always try to do that, but religions being what they are, no pope, patriarch, ayatollah or dalai lama has enough authority to be taken seriously. Only the academic gadfly has so much authority that its sting really hurts.

A great essay by a first-rate mind.