From the Ivory Tower to the Football Stadium: A Rueful Response to Michael Hüther

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Fall 9-1-2022


Suggest that that the political project of the contemporary university, even in its ideal form, is quite different from its idealization by Kant and others since. The contemporary university should not be understood as a compromised version of its old self, a bad owl. The university has become something else, perhaps a dog, sometimes a very good one. Maybe a comfort animal. Contemporary institutions of higher learning are somewhat incidentally interested in the pursuit of truth for its own sake, research. Conversely, the contemporary university only incidentally holds up such pursuit as a model of intellectual life to which youth en route to citizenship should aspire in their lives as productive members of society. The politics of contemporary institutions of higher education is simpler: such institutions strive to legitimate the contemporary social order, and in particular, to ameliorate the tendency to tribalism.

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