Read e-book online Cambridge Before Darwin: The Ideal of a Liberal Education, PDF

By Martha McMackin Garland

ISBN-10: 0521233194

ISBN-13: 9780521233194

During this significant contribution to the highbrow background of Cambridge collage, Dr Garland takes as her major topic the increase of a particular academic excellent in early Victorian Cambridge, the way it loved a second of triumph, after which the way it fell less than the impression of a brand new set of demanding situations. the tale revolves round the careers of a gaggle of 'conservative reformers', led by means of the Trinity dons Whewell and Sedgwick. They have been the self-designated companies of a refurbished model of conventional Cambridge values within the new setting of a swiftly industrializing England, and took as their excellent a normal unified middle of information established upon arithmetic, classics and ethical philosophy. They wanted to preserve this common constitution simply because they believed it corresponded to the constitution of the human brain and its psychological schools. For them, trust within the concord of technology and faith was once half and parcel in their essentially large Church spiritual perspectives.

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It would make real progress impossible. The past alone can make the present and the future intelli­ gible. 58 Whewell's insistence on students beginning their university work with the traditional subjects59 grew out of more than just his per­ ception of Ideas as something historically progressive, however. He was also influenced by a deep concern, which many of his Cambridge contemporaries shared, that individual students should develop their ideas with rigor and clarity, always able to trace each concept back to its fundamental axioms.

In 1 84 1 he published a very important survey entitled Observations on the Statutes of the University of Cambridge in which he concluded that governmental overhaul, not mere tinkering, would be a necessary part of any genuine educational improvement. In 1 850 and again in 1 855 Peacock served on the Royal Commissions appointed to investigate and reform Cambridge ; by this point many of his old friends had become less interested in real change and Peacock became rather unpopular because of his continuing 'extremism' .

Without the use of Reason, we could not conceive objects and their connexions in a general and abstract manner, and therefore could not apply to them names, and use Language. The Reason cannot express itself without Language ; Language cannot be employed without the Reason . . while the classical literature of Greece and Rome thus supplies us with studies by means of which the powers and properties belonging to one of our principal human faculties, Language, may be exhibited in their influence in his education; we have, in other writings .

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Cambridge Before Darwin: The Ideal of a Liberal Education, 1800-1860 by Martha McMackin Garland


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