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Universities and Epistemology: From a Dissolution of Knowledge to the Emergence of a New Thinking

Barnett, R; Bengtsen, S; (2017) Universities and Epistemology: From a Dissolution of Knowledge to the Emergence of a New Thinking. Education Sciences , 7 (1) p. 38. 10.3390/educsci7010038. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the relation between epistemology and higher education. We shall start by briefly examining three classical texts on the understanding of knowledge at universities, as well as noting some others, and go on to sketch a version of our own. Our argument is as follows: the world is such that the relationship between the university and knowledge remains fundamental but that it needs to be reconceptualised. In particular, the 21st century is seeing the emergence of digital reason, which could be said to be a form of non-reason. It may appear, therefore, that we are witnessing the dissolution or severing of the relationship between the university, on the one hand, and knowledge and truth on the other hand. To the contrary, we argue for what we term an ecological perspective on knowledge, with the concept of ecology being treated in the most generous way, partly as a way of rethinking the university into the future. The idea of knowledge as a defining concept of the university still has mileage in it.

Type: Article
Title: Universities and Epistemology: From a Dissolution of Knowledge to the Emergence of a New Thinking
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/educsci7010038
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/educsci7010038
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Keywords: epistemology; higher education; thinking; university; knowledge
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1558337
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