Discussion: On the future of our past

Studies in Philosophy and Education 26 (5):499-504 (2007)

After integrating the main lines of argumentation developed in the special issue, this paper makes a balance of the question on the public role of the university. Furthermore, the paper focuses on the discussion underlying the articles collected in the issue. A distinction is made between “comprehending” the past and present of the university on the one hand and “justifying” the university and its public role on the other hand. In view of this distinction, it is argued that the question concerning the value of a idea of the university and its public role is related to the question of democracy. The question is, however, not only whether we live in a democracy, but whether we may still speak of a “commitment to democracy”. An inquiry into the meaningfulness of a “idea” of the university arises directly from this question. At this point, the viewpoint of Derrida is introduced to discuss the question of the democracy and university of the future.
Keywords University  Public role  Higher education  Europe  Democracy  Derrida
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-007-9058-y
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