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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 38;

Universities and Epistemology: From a Dissolution of Knowledge to the Emergence of a New Thinking

Institute of Education, University College London, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK
Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Aarhus University, Paludan Mullers-Vej 48, 8200 Aarhus N., Denmark
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Stables
Received: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epistemology and Education)
PDF [203 KB, uploaded 8 March 2017]


This paper examines the relation between epistemology and higher education. We shall start by briefly examining three classical texts on the understanding of knowledge at universities, as well as noting some others, and go on to sketch a version of our own. Our argument is as follows: the world is such that the relationship between the university and knowledge remains fundamental but that it needs to be reconceptualised. In particular, the 21st century is seeing the emergence of digital reason, which could be said to be a form of non-reason. It may appear, therefore, that we are witnessing the dissolution or severing of the relationship between the university, on the one hand, and knowledge and truth on the other hand. To the contrary, we argue for what we term an ecological perspective on knowledge, with the concept of ecology being treated in the most generous way, partly as a way of rethinking the university into the future. The idea of knowledge as a defining concept of the university still has mileage in it. View Full-Text
Keywords: epistemology; higher education; thinking; university; knowledge epistemology; higher education; thinking; university; knowledge
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Barnett, R.; Bengtsen, S. Universities and Epistemology: From a Dissolution of Knowledge to the Emergence of a New Thinking. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 38.

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