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Thinking as a subversive activity: doing philosophy in the corporate university

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The academy is in a mess. The cultural theorist Bill Readings claimed that it is in ruins, while the political scientist Michael Oakeshott suggested that it has all but ceased to exist. At the very least, we might argue that the current financial squeeze has distorted the University into a shape that would be all but unrecognizable to Oakeshott and others writing in the 1950s and 1960s. I will begin this paper by tracing the development of the modern Enlightenment University over the past 200 years from its roots in late 18th century Berlin to its current predicament. I will then turn my attention to the introduction during the 1990s of nursing education into the University, and examine the particular difficulties and tensions encountered at the interface between a professional practice and an academic discipline. Finally, I will propose philosophy as a way of dwelling in the ruins of the Enlightenment University and of reconciling the corporate demands of the University with the obligations of the nursing profession.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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