“From Divinity to Bovinity” and the Square Route of Orthogonality:  A Review of Fuller’s Back to the University’s Future, Des Hewitt

I always seem to be reviewing books for the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective while on holiday. My last review was written while on the beaches of South Goa, India. That book was by Michael Gibson and was about the University [deliberately capitalized] so it seems wholly appropriate to be reviewing Steve Fuller’s Back to the University’s Future: The Second Coming of Humboldt from the Greek island of Zakynthos. I sit daily looking across the ever changing, dazzling myriad blue shades of the Ionian Sea out to Cephalonia and the Peloponnese, seeking guidance from the ancient Greek Gods and philosophers. While deep in thought, my wife asked me what this book is about. I replied that it is about what the University is now, what the University once was, or rather how it had been idealized in the past, and what it could become again through a new idealization, based on this historical idea, hence the title Back to the University’s Future. … [please read below the rest of the article].

Image credit: Springer

Article Citation:

Hewitt, Des. 2023. “‘From Divinity to Bovinity’ and the Square Route of Orthogonality: A Review of Fuller’s Back to the University’s Future.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (11): 9–18. https://wp.me/p1Bfg0-8eZ.

🔹 The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers.

Highlighted Resources:

❦ Fuller, Steve. 2022. “The Academy: From Divinity to Bovinity.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (6): 18-20.

❦ Humanity 8.0, Season 2, Episode 15: “On the Future of Academia—A Conversation with Steve Fuller and Michael Gibson, Part I.” https://youtu.be/mA-DD3wX4AI.

❦ Humanity 8.0, Season 2, Episode 16: “On the Future of Academia—A Conversation with Steve Fuller and Michael Gibson, Part II.” https://youtu.be/Y2snm_39fgw.

❦ Hewitt, Des. 2023. “A Match and Some Gasoline.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (1): 61-69.

❦ Hewitt, Des. 2020. “Meditations on a Theme: A Review of Steve Fuller’s Nietzschean Meditations.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (3): 50-53.

Back to the University’s Future: The Second Coming of Humboldt
Steve Fuller
181 pp.

Fuller argues that Humboldt’s Enlightenment idea proposed a social contract between the State and the University. On this contract, academics would be free to teach students a forward-facing vision. There would no dichotomy between teaching and research. Student learning would occur through Bildung—a process of self and cultural development—which, in turn, would transfer on to society and future generations in a spirit of creative destruction. Research, then, would be a shared, dialectical process in which the students continue and critique their teachers’ work and open ‘new horizons’[1] for the University, the State, and humanity.

Unlike our now over-bureaucratised and credentialised universities where academics mostly research in isolation from their teaching duties, this would put our University back on track to the future Humboldt’s promise once held out, enshrined in the unity and freedom of teaching and research but in the context of our frenetic digitized world. But of course, it’s not as simple that, and so my review will attempt to put some meat on the bones of this very important and timely book for the reader.

Saluting the Past but It’s Hello not Farewell, My Friend!

I think by starting at the end of Steve Fuller’s book we get not just an insight into this work but an insight into the man himself.  The book ends with Fuller’s Salutatory Address: ‘The Academy: From Divinity to Bovinity’, at Columbia in 1979 (Fuller 2023, 155). To say Fuller was slightly contemptuous about the University and his then peers in his speech is more than a slight understatement. Fuller takes aim in his speech at what he says the academy used to be and how it once existed as a purveyor of a divine truth, that is, that the world was presented in myriad shades of interpretation, much like a constantly moving sea.

There were no facts, only a never-ending search for a mysterious truth which kept academicians and the University in a state of Divinity. However, as Fuller says in his speech, the bottom fell out of that market and the University fell to the purveyors of the empirical world and the training ground of medics and lawyers (the pre-professionals) and the realm of indisputable hard facts in which both vied for control of our instrumental lives (pre-nothing, non-professional), and ultimately, our deaths.

I think because Fuller is fundamentally an existentialist, he often views personal and collective performances of what we might call ‘over-emoting’ as unnecessary outpourings of our existential desire to be recognised in the world. It’s not surprising then that Fuller ends his speech by taking a swipe at those who were protesting back then against the rights and wrongs of American political life through the University. I feel there’s just a slight touch of Allan Bloom and The Closing of the American Mind in Fuller’s writing here, although his critical tone perhaps suggests an inversion of Bloom’s protective stance to the Ivory Tower. In any case, Fuller ends his speech by suggesting that perhaps we might be better employed in a return to ‘Divinity’ and undertake a survey of the University—so what could be better than a return to Fuller’s suggestion?

Humboldt, the Lives of Great Men and Their Footprints in the Sands of Time: Back to the Future 8.0

Wilhelm von Humboldt was the Prussian Minister of Education in the 19th Century (1809).[2] He is credited with creating the idea of the modern university. Humboldt’s vision was, as Fuller writes, in stark contrast to the universities of France,[3] which Fuller argues the Enlightenment philosophes critiqued as simply the guardians and purveyors of received knowledge. Clearly, this critique remains in Fuller’s mind. During Ahmed Bouzid’s podcast with Steve Fuller and Michael Gibson in June 2023, just before the book’s publication, Fuller perhaps uncharitably equated that style of teaching to today, especially the way some less imaginative academic lead classroom proceedings like trained monkeys in front of a PowerPoint presentation.[4]

However uncharitable this sounds, it makes a point. Indeed, it brings a useful metaphor into play. Gibson’s book Paper Belt on Fire employs Luther as today’s protagonist and we can also see how Fuller brings the man responsible for the Reformation to life in his description of the critique of the French 18th century universities by the Enlightenment philosophes. Fuller goes on to juxtapose what would become the evolving French technocratic and positivistic education system with the very different evolving German model. And it is perhaps Kant who is most relevant in Fuller’s discussion here; Fuller points out how Humboldt was attempting in his vision for a model of a modern university essentially to resolve the problems described by Kant in The Conflict of the Faculties.[5]

Philosophy was proffered by Humboldt as the solution to the problem of competing ‘higher’ faculties of law, theology, medicine and the ‘lower’ faculty of philosophy within the university, and the freedom of the latter under the auspices of the State to speak freely. In the same vein, Fuller discusses Humboldt’s The Limits of State Action.[6] It’s here that Fuller begins to look to the German idealists and more recent figures from the academy to support his conceptualisation of what it means to have a University led by academicians who inspire us all through this ability to research and engage in a liberating discourse. What’s interesting here to me is the symmetry between Fuller’s critique of medicine and law in his Salutatory Address and his journey back to Humboldt in this book.

Is it possible Fuller was alluding to the Conflict of the Faculties in his speech and simply waiting for an opportune moment in the life of the academy, or indeed, his to address the issue of academic freedom, (which Fuller has done on many previous occasions), more forcefully now, through a journey that reminds us of the lessons of history? The alternative interpretation, however, is perhaps illuminated through Fuller’s own words in the preface to this book (vii) in which he states his writing is ‘orthogonal’:[7] that is to say, Fuller states that his writing cuts across all his previous (and by definition, other’s disciplinary work) and is a product of his conscious thinking about all this.

We can perhaps take this latter statement at face-value, as we can also argue that the unconscious or subconscious mind plays a role when we are engaged in writing. Nevertheless, Fuller’s orthogonal style of writing is indicative of his concept of ‘deviant interdisciplinarity’ concept which refers to the way in which individual academics cross the disciplinary terrain whilst remaining firmly independent and in an intellectual sense and in an interdisciplinary fashion, to forge uncharted pathways, as opposed to ‘normal interdisciplinarity’, which Fuller describes as a picking of the low-hanging fruit of cumulatively produced work which fails to capture reality. I feel the concept of super universalism, through which all people come to know all things, is implicitly juxtaposed by Fuller here against philosophy as the ‘underlabourer’ to the master builder’s of the so-called higher faculties or disciplines. In taking a slight liberty here, it’s tempting to suggest Fuller, in the guise of under or master labourer, is tidying things up for us in his discussion.[8]

Whether we define the term orthogonal literally as an oblique or independent and, or mutually or non-mutually exclusive relationship between the cognitive whirrings of a philosopher’s mind and/or a discursive approach to the research of others; [9] it seems to me that Fuller is relating this concept to deviant interdisciplinarity and so the next section of my review looks at some of Fuller’s examples of this concept. A concept Fuller firmly aligns himself with in the post-truth (subjective)[10] world, and after a critique of normal interdisciplinarity in the context of a critique of ‘normal or orthodox expertise’, a form of interdisciplinarity which he equates to academic rentiership—an argument Fuller has put forward in a different guise in works he has previously published on the University. This is the argument that academics in our research driven institutions are engaged in a knowledge and funding protection racket—a cabal which simply reinforces the unproductive status quo. A stifled University on the road to nowhere[11], one might say.

Back to Fuller’s Future: Orthogonality

It is of course slightly trite to say there’s so much in this book that it’s impossible to review it all. However, I really think that’s the case with regard to Fuller’s expansive and complex text. In the preface to his book Fuller talks about his writing and his ‘flashback’-‘flash-forward’ (vii) style, which he admits has annoyed readers in the past. From Aristotle to Aquinas, from Luther, Calvin, Hegel and Marx to the Prussian State, to the Founding Fathers to Theodore Roosevelt, Spinoza to Schleiermacher to Saint-Simon to Proudhon to Lamarck (not necessarily in that order), the origins of social epistemology and so much more—the history and philosophical content of Fuller’s book is truly spell-binding.

What I think Fuller is doing in this book is setting out philosophy’s role as it once was and constructing a new context for it in the academy. Fuller says our writing on history is often about stabilizing the present. Moreover, Fuller is presenting the conditions for philosophy’s and other disciplines’ delivery on this idea. Indeed, Fuller sets out what he thinks is the role of the academic by presenting us with his own early experience as an academic and so what he has learned to be able to ‘perform’ as an engaging teacher. He also does this through examples of others, in his book, but I want to refer to the podcast again in the coming sections so that the reader has an accurate as possible an insight into Fuller’s ideas.

I’ve already discussed Fuller’s presentation of the concept of an orthogonal style of writing, research and indeed, thinking, and this is a recurrent, indeed, a central theme in his writing, particularly in chapter 7 ‘Appendix: Towards a Theory of Academic Performance.’ Through an analysis of Fuller’s writing here we can assess how this relates to the Humboldtian idea of the University and academic freedom which Fuller is so obviously focused on. However, we can also gain further insights into Fuller himself and what motivates him. I’ll continue a survey of the wider content of his book as I discuss Fuller’s ‘performance.’

Firstly however, a quote from Fuller taken from his abstract to chapter 7 might help to illuminate the concept of orthogonal writing and speaking. Indeed, I think it has symmetry with my own interpretations of this philosophical approach to the life of the academic I presented above. Fuller’s states that the orthogonal media of communication is essential for any aspiring Humboldtian. Fuller states that ‘both (writing and speaking) need to be cultivated, allowed to influence each other in the spirit of improvisation, very much as in music, where it is the well-spring of creativity.’

It seems to me that although Fuller talks in this section about reading and writing as separate activities of the academic, he then argues for the symmetry, if not an inextricable link between these and indeed the rehearsal of these, suggesting that the term orthogonal refers not just to the way the different performances of the academic are juxtaposed with each other, but rather how they inform each other. They are not mutually exclusive activities and therefore we can define orthogonality as pertaining to the way different modes of learning and communication work symmetrically, and cut across each other, just as deviant interdisciplinarity although working like an independent ‘brain’, cuts/feeds through to normal interdisciplinarity.

This strongly suggests that Fuller sees the deviant interdisciplinarian as the master-labourer of the University and also the philosophical-heartbeat of the Humboldtian University. However, and if I might be so bold, a critical definition and one that comes from math and computer science is orthogonality as meaning existing on a 90-degree angle in relation to an opposing axis. In other words, a deviant interdisciplinarian has an oblique relationship with his or her academic peers in the University. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this at all, as many academics have, as Fuller (77) points out, been seen as mavericks or treated as outsiders in terms of their academic lives and work. The problem as Weber’s ‘Science as a Vocation’ suggested, is that these deviant interdisciplinarians don’t necessarily get the credit for their work. Readers can read more from Fuller on this, particularly on Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, in chapter 2, ‘Deviant Interdisciplinarity as Philosophy Humboldt-Style.’

The Freedom to Roam

Fuller talks of the three ‘Rs’, roam, record and rehearse: roaming is really the way we roam libraries, book shops and the like, building our cognitive storage. Recording, of course, refers to how we make notes, write in books and, I guess, how we remember all this stuff as we soak it up akin to a sponge with infinite storage capacity. Fuller is definitely a performance-oriented academic, then, and while he concedes that not everyone who can write can speak well, you get the feeling that he believes one should be able to. Fuller relies on his own experience of training as an academic and indeed takes us back to his days as a pupil of Jesuit priests, during which he was taught to learn and recite speeches, poems and songs, and this Fuller tells us, taught him to improvise, as he had to work out where to place the emphasis on certain words and refrains.

I can’t help thinking that as Fuller refers in this section to Plato, that as far as he is concerned an all-round, expansive education is necessary to be a good communicator. [12] Fuller explains how writing helps to makes our thoughts explicit, clearer, whereas speaking, that is extemporising can lead to uncomfortable situations for academics who switch from prepared texts to audience participation sessions post-lecture. Interestingly, Fuller refers to Plato, in the context of his discussion on what constitutes education and, the demise of Athens post-Peloponnesian War, when unscripted speeches led to much more serious consequences,[13] and so Fuller might be thought to be drawing a rather long bow here. However, Fuller does touch on the issue of censorship, and thus we return implicitly to the more apposite issue of academic freedom.

Earlier in his book, Fuller discusses Weber’s famous lecture ‘Science as a Vocation.’[14] Weber’s lecture is remembered for invoking the concept of Beruf, vocation or ‘calling’[15] (71) but it is also remembered for delineating the limits of academic freedom and the way politics interferes with this academic freedom;[16] that is, how knowledge is used by politics, and how far academics can venture into the realm of politics themselves. Moreover, what this means to the academic who might find themselves frustrated by an asymmetrical relationship between their career and those who take the credit for advances in knowledge. Fuller also invokes Jaspers who he argues further restricted sociological inquiry by placing it firmly in the confines of disciplinarity—no pun intended. In focusing further on what a vocation actually means, I want now as promised above to discuss the Humanity 8.0 podcast discussion between Ahmed Bouzid, Steve Fuller and Michael Gibson.

Re-Rehearsing Reviews

While lying awake last night wondering if I was taking this review in the right direction, my thoughts were drawn to the notion of a vocation and the political aspects associated with it, which surely appertain to what is usually defined as a life-long calling. I thought about this because it occurred to me that my above section on Weber and Jaspers bore little relation to Fuller’s, and indeed to many others’ outspoken writings on the University and the way policy of the State dictate the one-dimensional direction of higher education these days.

At the same time, I thought about Fuller’s words on three Rs and thought about my own techniques for the following the three Rs, that is, reading, researching and writing, and came to the realization that my self-taught method of writing is the re-rehearsing of planned scripts until that little light flickers on in my head as the road ahead becomes illuminated. Most readers will be aware by now that I know Steve Fuller and that he was my old professor and teacher at the University of Warwick where I studied for my doctorate, so I know that he writes, reads and ponders many texts simultaneously. This is something of course that one learns over time and is as much part of the character building and self-development that is part and parcel of the University and, the all-round performance of academic life, and presumably the image students should have presented to them in the Humboldtian University.

Humboldt Redux or the University Rehashed?

The road ahead for this review is actually the one I planned at the outset when I decided to focus on the Humboldtian idea of the University. It’s simply clearer now.[17] I’ve written on Steve Fuller’s views on the knowledge economy, the fungibility and gestalt switch of neoliberalism in other places and although I might well touch on these ideas. As I utilise the Humanity 8.0 podcast now, I want to present what Fuller argues really is the spirit of the Humboldtian idea. I really want to present what teaching and research would really look like in a ‘Back to the Future University’.

Moreover, I want to ask if this is really possible given the economic imperatives of government. In other words, can we limit the State’s action in our universities, and can we reappropriate higher education for the purposes of character building in our young people and ourselves? To that end, I will be implicitly discussing Fuller’s presentation of Francis Bacon’s ‘revolutionary constitution’ (84) to analyse whether a new Humboldtian University is possible in reality, or whether we are in fact engaging simply with theoretical ideas, which is of course what a Humboldtian University itself would in fact do.

In returning to the Humanity 8.0 podcast, episodes 15 and 16, which we can say is an orthogonal mode of communication, Fuller along with Michael Gibson and Ahmed Bouzid discuss Fuller’s book and its fundamental themes and importantly elaborate on the Idea of the Humboldtian University. My sense from listening is that the overriding theme and indeed concern of all three is about how our contemporary universities can return to a teaching-led environment in which the research of academics is presented directly to students and the current dichotomous relationship between the former and the latter is broken.[18] This approach ultimately concerns about how teaching can be restored to a situation where it is seen as a value in itself and delivered by teachers in an infectious style.

During the discussion Gibson says that the question ‘what is a university for’ is a good one and of course it is, although I have to say that question has been doing the rounds for years and years, so much so there’s a whole canon of literature on it written just in the last thirty years or so, never mind Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of the University which was penned in 1852.[19] Indeed, the title of Newman’s book has been the inspiration for many aspiring writers on the University, not least myself. Therefore, when I hear Gibson et al talking about the degree mills which undoubtedly our institutions have become, and how the notion of ‘critical thinking’ is much over played by those trying to sell higher education, I’m pretty sure the idea of knowledge for its own sake and students learning how to question knowledge will enter the conversation in some shape or form.

The conversation usually turns from this to one in which the idea of separate institutions is discussed, one type of university for the more vocational stuff and another for the deeply philosophical stuff (I’m tempted to write ‘Man’ at the end of that sentence, but I won’t …). The philosophical institution would be where the inspirational men and women would give lectures in an enthusiastic, nay, infectious style, and this would encourage those students who could cut the mustard to take on the baton, so to speak, and carry on the ideas of their teachers, in research and their own teaching. The thing is you’ve got to be clever enough in the first place to be able to do this.

Indeed, we can detect this in Fuller’s writing (4­–5) when he talks the about German idealists Fichte, Schelling and Hegel—and how idealism provided the foundation or ‘scaffolding for the Humboldtian University. During his discussion on idealism Fuller says idealism was hoist by its own petard, so to speak, that is the immanent critique of the young Hegelians caused the philosophy of idealism to wither away (Fuller playing on Engels here),[20] but that the romanticised notion of the Humboldtian spirit of endless enquiry continues to this day in our universities.

During this section of the podcast Ahmed Bouzid mentions how his son on a philosophy course at Pittsburgh had his first encounter with the subject, taught by a grad student, which led Bouzid to argue that surely a professor of great esteem ought to be students’ first engagement with philosophy. Gibson echoes this in the conversation and then we hear that a PhD from Harvard, etc., isn’t really an adequate qualification with which to teach. Firstly, we need to ask how we change this dynamic in our overly credentialised universities, and if this isn’t actually the way somebody with a Master’s degree and heading towards a doctorate learns and does that while under the tutelage of a professor? After all, isn’t this exactly what a Humboldtian University would look like— students learning under their masters?

Withering Away

Ok, so perhaps I’ve unfairly satirised the podcast in my writing above order to make a point and to be honest because it made it easier for me to use to a personal example, hopefully to make Fuller’s, Gibson’s and Bouzid’s point and indeed, elaborate further on their discussion. So, I remember studying for my masters at the University of Sussex. This was a research methods MSc called ‘Cross-Cultural Comparative Methods’[21] or something of that nature. Far from referring to the predominant culture at Sussex then that meant an embrace with identity politics (many of my fellow students assumed it did), this title referred to the crossing of disciplinary boundaries.

You might therefore be thinking that I’m about to tell you this Masters was the living embodiment of deviant interdisciplinarity. But no, this was normal disciplinarity in all its awfulness because this was a course designed to meet the brief of the ESRC—the Economic Social Research Council—the government-funded and directed body, devoid of imagination as far as the notion of endless enquiry is concerned—we can all see how well the State’s policies have worked out in recent years. We can but hope (and perhaps pray) as Fuller does, that deviant interdisciplinarity rises to the fore once again and that the powers that be look to our collective world history and ponder on what went wrong because as Fuller (4-5) reminds us, philosophy is history teaching us through examples.- we can also hope that one day the State withers away and the longed for transformation of social relations comes to pass.

Conclusion: The Revolutionary Potential of Humboldt

I said during this review I had chosen a certain path to focus on in Fuller’s book because I simply can’t cover his expansive text, and to be honest, I can’t compete with his extensive grasp of knowledge. So just in ending I’d like to present the reader with a musical moment. After all, Fuller does say that music is the well-spring of creativity. I remember reviewing Fuller’s Nietzschean Meditations: Untimely Thoughts at the Dawn of the Transhuman Era. In that book Fuller was not afraid to ignore the current zeitgeist and focus on DWM (Dead White Men) as once great philosophers have come to be known in our age of identity politics and postcolonial studies. In my review of that book I used a song by Hawkwind, The Lives of Great Men, Assault and Battery, its lyrics to convey what Fuller was arguing then, and I would suggest he is similarly arguing in this book now. So, in paraphrasing these lyrics slightly: ‘the lives of great men all remind us we may make our lives sublime … Let us try to remember where they were at … and in departing, leave our footprints in the sands of time.’ If this doesn’t sum up the idea of a university riding on the crest of a cutting-edge teaching and never-ending research wave into the future, then I don’t know what does.

Author Information:

Desmond Hewitt—deshewitt100@gmail.com—completed his PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick in 2014. While a doctoral student, he taught at Warwick and also at the University of Aston. His PhD was entitled, ‘Excellence in Critical Condition: The Current State of English Higher Education’. He conducted a critical discourse analysis of successive governments’ reviews into higher education, focusing on ‘excellence’, and what it means to those in higher education who administer the university. Tracing excellence back to Aristotle and the concept of eudaemonia—not simply defined as ‘happiness’ or even ‘flourishing’, but as our desire to fly above the clouds. The thesis argued that the Enlightenment notion of endless development was alive and well in higher education—perhaps ‘transhumanism’ without calling it so. https://www.des.gen.in/.

[1] Please see this podcast: https://youtu.be/mA-DD3wX4AI.

[2] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Wilhelm-von-Humboldt.

[3] French universities are now separated into two tiers, the Grand Ecoles which train the future administrators of France and its public universities. See this link: https://uniacco.com/blog/french-education-system.

[4] Bouzid’s interview with Fuller and Gibson appears in two parts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA-DD3wX4AI and https://www.youtube.com/

[5] https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/religion-and-rational-theology/conflict-of-the-faculties-1798/A8B011D221612D4FF6EBB615BF751611.

[6] Humboldt, Wilhelm von. 1969. The Limits of State Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[7] Please see further definitions of orthogonal later in my review: https://wiki.c2.com/?DefinitionOfOrthogonal.

[8] See Fuller (16) where the author discusses his former teacher Nicholas Rescher who claimed to work in an interdisciplinary way and yet worked alone which puzzled others. Rescher explained his mind was the site if interdisciplinary work. Fuller makes it clear that because of the division of labour involved in normal interdisciplinarity projects are left uncompleted. It is therefore the task of the deviant interdisciplinarian to tidy things up in a second order or meta-analysis.

[9] Please see this song: ‘Windmills of My Mind’: https://youtu.be/qKV9bK-CBXo.

[10] My emphasis on ‘subjective’ and my interpretation of Fuller’s section on expertise and deviant interdisciplinarity is that he is arguing that lay or citizen science is as valid as orthodox expertise, and that there are those others unrecognised in the annals of scientific discovery because of their disciplinary or philosophical location in the academy (18–25).

[11] See this song by the Talking Heads: https://youtu.be/LQiOA7euaYA.

[12] In fact Fuller says exactly that when discussing Humboldt’s era when he states it was expected that students would already have attended Gymnasium by the time they entered the university where they would have been trained in elements of the whole person: mind, voice, eye, etc (1).

[13] See this recent Tweet from Steve Fuller which by complete coincidence he posted as I was writing this section of my review. Apart from summing up our fire geopolitical dynamic, it also I think begs the question as to what comes first—the chicken or the egg, the performer or academic or actor turned academic, and indeed, is this actually Orthogonality in action, the cross-cutting dynamic of intellectual abilities? https://twitter.com/ProfSteveFuller/status/1694561932144160884?s=20.

[14] https://campuspress.yale.edu/modernismlab/science-as-a-vocation/.

[15] See section ‘The Purposiveness of Academic Calling: Weber Pivoting between Kant and Popper’ (74).

[16] Fuller also equates academic freedom with the concept of positive liberty and this relates in his writing to the conditions that are created whereby students are taught in an environment in which they can realise their own potential. Indeed, by creating the conditions for free enquiry ‘positive liberty’ creates the conditions for the emancipation of us all. See chapter 3 ‘Judgement as the Signature Expression of Academic Freedom (39).

[17] Interestingly, and I suppose of considerable relevance here in the discussion on media of communication etc., is that mini-reviews of Steve Fuller’s book can be found on his Twitter feed as some of his colleagues post their favourite sections, quotes and fun facts. Apart from the observation that this is akin to a pseudo/quasi human driven ChatGPT bot, these micro glimpses of the book proved extremely useful for me in this review as it reinforced my decision to focus on the theoretical aspects I have. Readers can find these reviews here: https://twitter.com/LukeRobertMason/status/1694317182945989007?s=20.

[18] In fact, Fuller (4) while discussing How the original Humboldtian University functioned admits there would need to be a level of harmonization between State and academia.

[19] Please see this link in Ideas of the University: http://www.historyandpolicy.org/.

[20] Marx and the young Hegelians are deviant interdisciplinarians personified post facto.

[21] Fuller (15) presents the history of the evolution of deviant interdisciplinarity by explaining how the demarcation Masters and Doctors in medieval times. The latter defined as deviant, doctors as normal interdisciplinarity. Fuller explains how this is still present in the undergraduate/postgraduate distinction. While at Sussex I remember how the director of the MSc insisted on referring to PhDs as DPhils and often recounted how Sussex and Oxford (his Alma Mater) were the only English universities to call PhDs that as though that somehow distinguished these institutions as a cut above. The fact is, as I have explained above, the MSc course was simply a generic formulation of modules found in all research-intensive universities in the UK then and compulsory if one wanted to progress to a doctorate.

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