No Time to Think: The American University and its (Anti-) Contemplative Roots

Posted on May 22, 2010

A webinar with David M. Levy, Professor, The Information School, University of Washington
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

David Levy writes, “Ten years ago I moved from a well-known high tech think tank to my first academic job, discovering along the way that the extreme busyness, overload, fragmentation, and acceleration of contemporary culture are just as prevalent within the ivy tower as beyond it. Universities are no place to think, I concluded, any more than hospitals are places to be sick. In this presentation I will explore how this state of affairs has arisen by examining the complex debt that the modern university owes both to industrial culture and to ancient Greek philosophy. And I will suggest that we are now uniquely positioned to bring the contemplative element (back) into the academy, both because we are better able to see the consequences of certain industrial-era attitudes on current academic practices, and because we are in a position to recover and renew the Greek philosophers’ conception of education as a process of radical growth and transformation.”

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