The Faith of a Liberal: Selected Essays by Morris R. Cohen

By Morris R. Cohen | Go to book overview

A modern university could be established by adding to such institutions provision for research in the social sciences, the activity in which our present universities are weakest. But it would be a serious mistake to make it too dependent on private endowment, however much that may be necessary in the preliminary stage. A modern university may be built up as an organized exchange by those actually engaged in various types of research. In all kinds of modern activities, in industrial and commercial institutions as well as in the various forms of public service, men are required to devote themselves to various specific researches, An organized exchange of those engaged in physical, social, and purely theoretic investigations would be a sound nucleus for a genuinely modern university.


32
THE PRESTIGE OF IDEAS IN AMERICA

THAT THE PRESTIGE of purely intellectual work is very low among us can hardly be doubted. In no other country is the word intellectual so often used as a term of derision and opprobrium. This is true not only in our backward, rural, and Southern regions where under the influence of poverty, ignorance, and fundamentalism intellectual enlightenment is genuinely feared. It is also true in our supposedly more advanced Eastern states.

The same trait which makes American business heap its main rewards on the promoter and the salesman rather than on the producer makes our public ignore intellectually productive

____________________
Published in The World Tomorrow, Vol. 8, p. 202 ( 1925), under the title, "Have Ideas Prestige Among Us?"

-283-

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