Ethical Perspectives 13 (2):171-189 (2006)

The nature of the university is autonomous research and teaching within the framework of Bildung . Without Bildung, our open society, which expects and lauds innovation and mobility, will become paralysed by its own expectations, since it will be choked by reign of technological specialists unable to offer society any universal orientation.In this worst case scenario, the market becomes the measure of all things, and education is only valued insofar as it plays to market demands and knowledge is fragmented. But our knowledge society needs strong education, especially strong universities, able to offer orientational Bildung.In turn, universities need the autonomy to plan their own organisation, as well as to systematise science. Reflecting the globalised economic and research practices, the university too must step beyond its own disciplinary boundaries, and see the future of research and learning in problem-driven transdisciplinarity.Failing this, the university will be replaced by the paradigm of the school, and the particularism that entails. But achieving this transdisciplinarity, universities will be able to foster the notion of science as a form of life, which in turn reveals itself to be the moral form of science and academic education. The credibility of the university depends on this achievement
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DOI 10.2143/EP.13.2.2016629
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