ERIC Number: EJ870464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Equity and the Dialogical "Ethos" of the University: Socrates, Schleiermacher and the Transversal Claim of the "Conversatorium"
Moore, John G.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009
Open and unencumbered dialogue is the original position of the modern university-ideal, encompassing both its administrative and educational functions, outstripping even its important reliance upon research in laboratories or solitary writing and contemplative inquiry. This is an idea first intimated in Plato's "Symposium" and later made central to Schleiermacher's draft of a plan for the University of Berlin. Recent inquiries into the many myths of the modern university have lessened the claims on behalf of illustrious figures, such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, for having founded the modern university--a superhuman feat he would himself have disavowed; but the autonomous ideal of Humboldt's colleague, Friedrich Schleiermacher, in which special emphasis is given to "authentic dialogue," "seminars" and "conversatoria" and which he modeled after the unofficial, salon-culture of Berlin, where colloquial spaces were hosted at regular intervals in the houses of leading Jewish women for the sole purpose of sustaining cross-cultural dialogue, appears to have been an underappreciated influence. The paper argues that the notion of the university as a free space of open discussion, devoted to testing truth-claims and hazarding new ideas, is perennially relevant, and potentially transversal for knowledge, inquiry, and reigning systems of social arrangement. It remains the soul of the university, much in the way salon-culture remains the soul of the coffee-house. (Contains 29 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Role of Education, Philosophy, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication, Sex Fairness, Figurative Language, Gender Issues
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany (Berlin)