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The urgent need for an academic revolution: the rational pursuit of wisdom

Maxwell, N; (2009) The urgent need for an academic revolution: the rational pursuit of wisdom. In: Tandy, C, (ed.) Nine Hundred Years After St. Anselm (1033-1109). (211 - 238). Ria University Press: Palto Alto, California. Green open access

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Abstract

We are in a state of impending crisis. And the fault lies in part with academia. For two centuries or so, academia has been devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how. This has enormously increased our power to act which has, in turn, brought us both all the great benefits of the modern world and the crises we now face. Modern science and technology have made possible modern industry and agriculture, the explosive growth of the world’s population, global warming, modern armaments and the lethal character of modern warfare, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, immense inequalities of wealth and power across the globe, pollution of earth, sea and air, even the AIDS epidemic (AIDS being spread by modern travel). All these global problems, involving preventable deaths of millions, have arisen because some of us have acquired unprecedented powers to act without acquiring the capacity to act wisely. We urgently need to bring about a revolution in universities so that the basic intellectual aim becomes, not knowledge merely, but rather to help humanity acquire the capacity to resolve conflicts and problems of living in more cooperatively rational ways. The revolution we need would affect every branch and aspect of academic inquiry.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The urgent need for an academic revolution: the rational pursuit of wisdom
ISBN-13: 9781934297056
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ria.edu/rup/#deathanti
Language: English
Additional information: Full text made available here with permission from the publisher
Keywords: Philosophy, Global crises, science, technology, academic revolution, knowledge, wisdom, rationality, education
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/105666
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