The Degradation of the Academic Dogma
TIL Robert Nisbet, founder of Berkeley’s Sociology dept., believed believed that the university is the last vestige of Medieval society and that it has been under attack for the since 1945 by something called The Last Reformation.
The core value that has been under attack? That “Knowledge is important”, in the Aristotelian sense of the word. The university was meant, according to Nisbet, to stand apart from society and discover knowledge that could then be used by others. This Ivory Tower of separation is what actually kept the University autonomous as their purpose was only to discover and document, rather than become involved in social matters.
Exhibit A, a masters degree in Women’s Studies.
Exhibit B, a Credited course on Male Privilege.
These classes are courses in Dogma, meant to change and lead people’s thinking. Of course there ought not to be solely One Truth, yet these fields of study are not intended to bring about knowledge. Instead, the new philosophy of Universities is to bring about social change. This change of objective creates a sense of dependency and interconnection that compromises the University’s ability to objectively seek out and communicate knowledge.
In essence, Nisbet was observing the transition of Universities from reservoirs of knowledge to Institutions of Social Change via the mechanisms that F.A. Hayek wrote about in his essay The Intellectuals and Socialism. Universities today are training camps of social dogma, wherein the average student will walk away a less competent and independent thinker.
We see this in the double standard language of campuses for example: advocating equality and freedom while at the same time denying open debates and shutting down Free Speech. The modern day University has the intended goal of reeducating people to think and believe certain things, instead of just teaching people knowledge.
- Review of Robert Nisbet, The Degradation of the Academic Dogma
- The Intellectuals and Socialism – F.A. Hayek
Researching this essay led to the following Essay, Blending Social Theory with Effective Actions for Change