Thursday, June 18, 2009

Academic Intelligence

The most important question we need to ask ourselves about the universities is: are they good places to know something? My introduction to this angle on epistemological questions came with my reading of Steve Fuller's work in social epistemology. He's now blogging on the related question of how to make the universities "safe for intellectual life". There is something provocative about that problem, isn't there? Are you more or less likely to encounter "intelligence" on a university campus than elsewhere in society. We'll be following along with interest.

1 comment:

Presskorn said...

How great that Fuller has begun blogging! I guess liked your comment to his latest post too, i.e. the comment containing a response to the Humean stance of social scientific research, i.e. “We are just doing research for the kicks.”.

I guess one might rephrase your response as: Social science doesn’t communicate with practice per se; it is oddly unable to do so. Rather it communicates, as it were, through people, i.e. through graduates off for a job in some practice.

But, of course, your response has an air of circularity: How are the graduates suppose to communicate their social scientific knowledge to practice if even their teachers are unable to do so?

Presumably, you would respond that participating in a practice, say working within some organization, is quite different from researching in social science. For the researchers, it’s certainly a question of communicating stuff to their students, but for the graduates, it’s more question of doing than a question of communicating.

Or how do you intend to avoid circularity here?