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The Making of the Modern University

Intellectual Transformation and the Marginalization of Morality

What is the purpose of higher education, and how should we pursue it? Debates over these issues raged in the late nineteenth century as reformers introduced a new kind of university—one dedicated to free inquiry and the advancement of knowledge. In the first major study of moral education in American universities, Julie Reuben examines the consequences of these debates for modern intellectual life.

Based on extensive research at eight universities—Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Stanford, Michigan, and California at Berkeley—Reuben examines the aims of university reformers in the context of nineteenth-century ideas about truth. She argues that these educators tried to apply new scientific standards to moral education, but that their modernization efforts ultimately failed. By exploring the complex interaction between institutional and intellectual change, Reuben enhances our understanding of the modern university, the secularization of intellectual life, and the association of scientific objectivity with value-neutrality.

374 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Education: Higher Education

History: American History

Table of Contents

1: The Unity of Truth
2: Science and Religion Reconceived
3: The Open University
4: The Reconstruction of Religion
5: Scientific Substitutes for Religion
6: Value-Free Science
7: From Truth to Beauty
8: Administrative Order

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