The Uses of Knowledge: Selections from the Idea of a University

The Uses of Knowledge: Selections from the Idea of a University

The Uses of Knowledge: Selections from the Idea of a University

The Uses of Knowledge: Selections from the Idea of a University

Synopsis

This insightful selection, features four discourses from The Idea of a University: Knowledge Its Own End; Knowledge Viewed in Relation to Learning; Knowledge Viewed in Relation to Professional Skill; and Knowledge Viewed in Relation to Religion. Also included are excerpts from the "Preface" and the following appendices: Discipline of Mind; Literature and Science; and Style. Edited by Leo L. Ward, this volume also contains an introduction, a list of principal dates in Newman's life, and a bibliography.

Excerpt

Education seems to have some special importance for Americans. From the earliest days the little log school was looked upon as an indispensable institution in every pioneer community. Since then our educational establishments have grown amazingly in every region of the country, and yet they always seem to remain inadequate to meet the demand. Clearly, knowledge must have some special importance or value for the American mind.

But what is its value? Why do we seek knowledge? What is its utility? We do not seem to have reached any general agreement about the answer to the question. This book presents an answer by John Henry Newman, first made in a series of lectures over a hundred years ago, and later published in a book that has since become a literary and educational classic. The Idea of a University was composed oi two main sections, the first of which was entitled “University Teaching,” and the second, “University Subjects.” In the first section of the book Newman developed the essential outline of his views on university education. Of the nine lectures which made up this first section of the book, four are reprinted here, under a new title, The Uses of Knowledge. From the second section of the book three passages have been added here, in Appendices, to suggest certain amplifications of his thought made by Newman in some of his later lectures.

Because the book from which these four lectures are taken is integrated very closely, as a whole unit of thought, no complete view of Newman’s meaning can be grasped from any of the parts. Each of his main ideas, to be fully and justly comprehended, must be seen in the context of the whole book. For this reason the broad scheme of Newman’s thought has been presented in a “General Argument.” The student is urged to give particular attention to . . .

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