COLLEGE FIX Q&A: Roger Scruton on the Decline of the Modern University

Do you get the impression that your college has become a “closed ideological concentration camp?” I personally didn’t have that experience but for many especially here in the US the institution gets billed as a beacon of open mindedness and clear thought. That is of course until you conclude something that goes against the grain.

In a recent interview Roger Scrunton address this problem in the modern day university. You can get the full interview here.

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SC: When you look at the current state of higher education, is there one philosophical mistake that you see implicated in getting us to the current sorry state of things?

RS: Well, yes. I would say that … [pause] yeah, I think there is one basic weakness in all the developments that I most would criticize. And that is that they are based upon embodying an ideological conclusion into the curriculum rather than a method of inquiry. And I think all of the humanities that have made our university so important and so great and made them contribute to the surrounding civic order, they all had this idea in their hearts of free inquiry into a subject matter, a defined subject matter, real intellectual questions, and a body of literature that helped people to understand the area. But I think what has happened is that new subjects, or new disciplines, so called, have come into being which do not require methods of inquiry, but they do require adherence to a particular conclusion.

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