Academic knowledge as culture building

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    Over the last decades, a growing political and societal distrust and skepticism towards universities has emerged. Academic knowledge is, increasingly, being criticized for being out of touch with our social and cultural realities. In this presentation, I argue that such views rest on false grounds and that academic knowledge is one of the strongest forms of cultural empathy that we have.
    The philosophical foundations of academic knowledge found both in the Bildung (Humboldt, Kant) and liberal education (Newman) traditions rest on the idea that knowledge connects academics (students, teachers, researchers) with the world. Knowledge, here, is not understood as a process of separation or isolation, but an entry into the depths, complexities, variation, and diversity of natural phenomena, social identities, and cultural values and belief systems. It has even been suggested that knowledge compels us to recognise, respect, and esteem the world around us in all its nuances and shades (Lingis).
    Further, it has been argued within theory of science (Bhaskar) that academic knowledge creation is the very mirroring of the world opening up and becoming still more diversified. The critical thinking and criticality of scientific approaches is, thus, understood not as a distancing from the world but, on the contrary, as much stronger engament with, and submersion into, the world and culture surrounding the university. It has even been argued (Nixon, Rider) that the virtues underlying our research methodologies and approaches are the very virtues upholding a culture of democracy, freedom, and justice.
    This way seen, academic knowledge is one of the strongest forms of societal engagement, cultural empathy, and social imagination we have in our societies today.
    Publikationsdatojun. 2022
    Antal sider1
    StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022
    BegivenhedPhilosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference: Universities under seige - Uppsala, Sverige
    Varighed: 7 jun. 20229 jun. 2022


    KonferencePhilosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference


    • Higher education
    • University
    • Knowledge
    • Culture
    • Lingis
    • Heidegger


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