2nd Draft March 2005
The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge.... The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Columbia World of Quotations, #30010
Within the university ... you can study without waiting for any efficient or immediate result. You may search, just for the sake of searching, and try for the sake of trying. So there is a possibility of what I would call playing. It’s perhaps the only place within society where play is possible to such an extent.
Jacques Derrida (1930-2004)
Columbia World of Quotations, #16117
1. The WIT (knowing by the Senses, Mind, Doing & Experience) and PSI (knowing by Reason, Revelation, Sentiment & Sensation) characterize the acquisition of knowledge by a natural person. Once acquired, however, knowledge may be shared first through speech or the coding it into an extra-somatic communications matrix or tooling into matter as a sensor, tool and toy. In this sharing socially agreed categories develop under which knowledge may be classified.
2. For my purposes there are two knowledge categories: Domains and Practices. The word ‘domain’ means, among other things, “a sphere of thought or action; field, province, scope of a department of knowledge, etc.” (OED, domain, n, 4a). A Domain has two characteristics. First, hierarchically, as a province, it is subject to the twin Realms of Science and Design. Their relative influence fluctuates, e.g., periods of normal or revolutionary science (Kuhn 1996) and shifting balance between Church and State in Western history.
2. Second, a Domain “as a sphere of thought or action” has a preferred configuration of Reason, Revelation, Sentiment and Sensation (PSI) deemed methodologically appropriate to acquire knowledge. This is analogous to the pattern of dominance and subordination of faculties identified by analytic psychology and to the configuration of drives in a personal computer where there is usually a primary dominant/subordinate pair and a secondary dominant/subordinate pair of drives. The primary configuration will, for my purposes, serve to differentiate knowledge domains by their epistemic methodology, i.e., their PSI. Before doing so, however, I will first consider the changing role of the university and only then define knowledge Domains and, finally, the Practices.
1. The stereotypical medieval
university was organized into the three domains of philosophy: natural, moral
and metaphysical within functioned different disciplines, departments or
faculties. Domains, in turn, were housed
2. This structure changed very slowly following
the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century.
With religious wars waging, the university – Protestant and Catholic –
were busy defending religious doctrines and resisted the new experimental
philosophy. In effect, the university remained a training ground for elites in
traditional and proper ways of knowing. The
first significant change occurred in the early 19th century with the founding
of the German research university at the
3. From the 17th century Scientific Revolution, the experimental sciences thus existed outside the university proper acting like an ‘emergent process’ (Emery & Trist 1972, 24-37). First through concealment and latter by parasitism, the natural sciences gradually entered the university, absorbed more and more of its resources (financial and human) until finally it became what it is today – arguably the dominant knowledge domain. In the process, the old ‘natural philosophy’ faded away replaced by a triumphant experimental philosophy, or rather, instrumental experimental science
4. In this regard, the assertion that the university is the ‘natural’ home of the sciences has been made by Michael Polanyi (Polanyi 1960-61, 406). [J] He argues that the source of new knowledge in other domains is primarily found outside the university in the ‘real’ world. This he considers appropriate because the natural sciences concern the objective unchanging laws of nature while other domains are subject to the artificial laws and exigencies of the human condition.
5. While arguably the ‘natural’ home of
the sciences, the Anglosphere university has only
recently become the foster-home for technology and engineering. The Statute
of Artificers regulated technical training and employment in the craft
guild tradition almost 300 years in
were nonconformists who had been excluded from the universities and learned their science indirectly while pursuing their trade. In other words, the coupling between science and technology was very loose and did not rely on the established system of higher education. (Senate Special Committee 1970, 21)
6. Similarly, major innovations of the
late 19th century, e.g., the
telephone, telegraph and electric light did not result from university-based
research but from the insight of independent inventors, who, like Bell and
Edison, often created their own private research institutes outside the
university. Nonetheless, the success of ‘vocational’ institutions such as the
Manchester Polytechnic resulted, in many cases, in their eventual absorption or
transformation into traditional universities.
For example, the Manchester Polytechnic began as the Manchester Mechanics’
Institute in 1824 then went through many name changes over the decades becoming
7. In fact, it was only in the
post-World War Two era that university and university-based research became a
dominant source of new technology including chemical, electrical, and nuclear
technologies. The war years confirmed that university-based scientific
knowledge could play a major role in development of new technology, e.g., radar, jet and rocket engines and,
of course, the atomic bomb. Between
industrial university laboratories and research centres it is now conventional
wisdom that the era of the independent, nonconformist inventor is drawing to an
end. However, this convention, in turn, could
be swept away with the appearance of another
8. Since the change in the university’s
mandate from conservation of old to generation of new knowledge, new practices have
been appended to the university, e.g.,
Colleges of Commerce in the late 19th century.
Furthermore, as will be seen below, the domain structure transformed
after the Second World War with formal admission of the Fine Arts. Arguably, however, another change in mandate
is occurring at this moment as business and government form ‘partnerships’ with
the university appending new structures to it, e.g., special research centres.
Most are dedicated to the economic exploitation of new knowledge flowing
from any and all parts of the university itself. Such linkages and partnerships form part of the
‘national innovation system’ (
1. In a process I call ‘pragmatic
epistemology’, nation states have created, above their universities, specialized
funding agencies to foster and promote distinct knowledge domains. These too form part of the national innovation
system even though most historically pre-date the
3. Such grant-giving councils are economic agents that direct public monies towards development of new knowledge – both for its own sake as well as for its contribution to the economy. In this sense they are political economic institutions. Which enterprises, programs, projects or individuals to support is generally decided by peer evaluation including grants made by individual officers employed by a council and who act, in effect, as one-person juries (Chartrand 1987a). Councils tend to reflect the political communities of interest active within each knowledge domain. This grant-giving system parallels the independent practice of peer review of articles before publication in disciplinary journals. Using the Canadian experience, I identify three contemporary knowledge domains:
· The Natural & Engineering Sciences (NES);
· The Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS); and,
· The Arts.
4. In the sixth century before the Common Era, the Chinese sage Sun Tzu suggested in his classic The Art of War that a battle may be won before it is fought through a clear understanding of the terrain (Sawyer 1994). The terrain of a knowledge-based economy is dominated by these three glacier-clad mountains. Each rises up above the lowlands and valleys of the economy. Each has its own historical and institutional foundation; each reaches to a summit of excellence - individual and institutional. In the NES and HSS, the traditional institutional peak is the university. In the Arts, it is the fine arts academy, museum, music conservatory and production company.
5. It is in these artistic, cultural and scientific ‘ivory-towers’ that most new knowledge is created, collected, compiled, conserved and/or coalesced into a nation’s knowledge base. From their icy peaks rivers and streams of knowledge flow down winding circuitous paths or through channels chiseled deeply into the historical bedrock of a nation-state. In the valleys and lowlands their waters merge, mingle and mix to irrigate all sectors of a nation's economy.
6. In practice such knowledge becomes applied as technology in the original Greek techne meaning art and logos meaning reason, that is, ‘reasoned art'’. The NES generate physical technology, that is, how to manipulate the natural world. The HSS generate organization technology, that is, how to manipulate the human-made world. The Arts generate aesthetic or design technology, that is, how to manipulate the human heart and soul to achieve what the Greeks called kosmos, the right ordering of the multiple parts of the world (Hillman 1980, 28).
7. Beyond the pragmatics of contemporary institutional structures, this trio is consonant with traditional pedagogy and epistemology. With respect to pedagogy, the NES corresponds to the natural philosophy of the medieval university; the HSS to moral philosophy; and, the Arts correspond to metaphysical philosophy (now part of the Humanities) since separation of Church and State and soon after of Art from Religion. In effect, Religion, the institutional homeland of Revelation, the controlling faculty of Western knowledge for centuries, has been reduced to a Sentiment within the university, i.e., a human value studied under the Humanities. Art, meanwhile, has donned the cloak of intuition and the associated god-like ex nihlio powers of creativity.
8. With respect to epistemology, since at least the time of Galileo a traditional distinction has also been made between primary, secondary and tertiary elements of knowledge, or experience. Primary knowledge concerns facts or quantities such as size and extension in space, number, weight or mass, motion and time. These elements of knowledge are regarded as belonging to the ‘real’ or physical world. They are accessible to observation, experiment and measurement. This is the domain of the NES.
9. Secondary knowledge, or qualities, pertains to sensations such as colour, taste, smell and form as well as larger concatenations of these qualities. Qualities are held to exist only in the mind of the observer, i.e. they are produced by the perceiving mind out of physical experience; they do not exist in the objective world. Accordingly, even if qualities are real, they are not directly accessible to the scientific method (Sloane 1991). This is the domain of the Arts.
10. Tertiary knowledge, or values, are not
perceivable from the outside world but are rather innate ideas, divinely
implanted or invented by the subjective observer (
1. There are three primary natural science disciplines – biology, chemistry and physics. Each breaks out into an ever widening range of sub-disciplines and cross-disciplines, e.g., biochemistry. In each there are distinct engineering specialties, e.g., chemical, genetic, mechanical and, electrical engineering. It is from these that physical technology flows. More generally, the relationship between science and related technologies has been described as the research-front of one being related to the accrued archive of the other, i.e., science operates with the previous generation of technology while technology operates with the previous generation of scientific knowledge (Price 1965, 568). [K]
2. Arguably, the success of the NES in generating new knowledge can be attributed to three factors. First is the Pythagorean Effect, i.e., exploitation of the cognate relationship between mathematics and the world of matter and energy. Second is the Instrumentation Effect, i.e., scientific instruments generate evidence (in mathematical form) not requiring intermediation by a human subject and providing readings at, above and below the threshold of natural human sensibilities. In effect, this lends metaphysical legitimacy to the NES. Again, scientific instruments realize a Platonic ideal: “belief in a realm of entities, access to which requires mental powers that transcend sense perception” (Fuller 2000, 69). Furthermore, the language of scientific sensors realizes another ancient Greek ideal, that of Pythagoras, by reporting nature in numbers. Third is the Puzzle-Solving Effect of working within an established paradigm or ‘normal science’ in which anomalies to expectations leads to solution or ‘scientific revolution’ (Kuhn 1996).
3. Concerning the proliferation of specialized NES sub-disciplines, Thomas Kuhn concluded:
Over time a diagram of the evolution of scientific fields, specialties, and sub-specialties comes to look strikingly like a layman’s diagram for a biological evolutionary tree. Each of these fields has a distinct lexicon, though the differences are local, occurring only here and there. There is no lingua franca capable of expressing, in its entirety, the content of them all or even of any pair.” (Kuhn 1990, 7-8)
4. Knowledge in the Natural & Engineering Sciences is fact-based and subject to objective, value-free testing in which replicability of results is the ultimate test. It is concerned with objective truth and understanding of the physical world. It exhibits decreasing tolerance through time for difference and error as old knowledge is progressively and reductively displaced by the new, i.e., NES knowledge progresses vertically up the ladder of time.
5. Expressed in terms of analytic psychology, the NES assigns dominance to Reason while Sensation and Revelation (intuition) are subordinate with Sentiment suppressed. Using the computer drive metaphor, the primary dominant is Reason and the primary subordinate is Sensation. The secondary dominant is Revelation or intuition while the secondary and repressed subordinate is Sentiment. It is the primary dominant/subordinate configuration of Reason/Sensation that characterizes the NES – measurable quantity.
6. In the NES, Sensation is thus in the service of Reason embodied in scientific instrumentation that completely isolates or distances the observer from the observed and from the passions of the flesh and spirit. As will be seen, this contrasts with the Arts in which Sensation is dominant subordinating Sentiment to produce sensual or aesthetic effects on a flesh and blood audience. The contrast is one of extroversion or introversion of Sensation. In the NES, Sensation is directed outward by Reason towards the external world. In the Arts, Sensation directs Sentiment inwards towards what James Hillman calls The Thoughts of the Heart (Hillman 1981).
1. When applied for other purposes, NES knowledge, formally and informally obtained, generates physical technology, i.e., the ability to manipulate matter and energy to satisfy human want, needs and desires as both intermediate and final goods and services. The impact in evolutionary terms has been impressive. In 1500 of the Common Era, three years before Leonardo Da Vinci began the Mona Lisa, some 400 million individuals lived, mostly from hand to mouth, in ten or so distinct civilizations spread out over five relatively isolated continental and sub-continental land masses (Durand 1977). Five hundred years later and a global self-regulating market economy of over 6 billion human beings is actively engaged in re-designing the ecology, geography and geology of all seven continents, harvesting the ocean depths, polluting the mountain peaks and encircling the globe with hundreds of artificial satellites plus one inhabited space station. It is projected that there will be 9 billion people on Planet Earth by 2050 (Population Reference Bureau 2003). Through our physical technology we, as a species, now occupy and/or exploit every ecosystem on the planet with plans to move beyond.
1. Much has been and more will be said about the Scientific Revolution and its implications for a knowledge-based economy. One seldom hears, however, about the preceding ‘Humanist’ and subsequent ‘Social Science’ revolutions. Yet they happened and they too have significant implications. The Humanist Revolution of about 1400 C.E. pre-dates the Scientific Revolution by some two hundred years which, in turn, pre-dates the Social Science Revolution of roughly 1800 by about two hundred years. This sequence is not necessarily co-incidental. One revolution builds upon the foundations laid by its predecessor. The sequence may or may not continue with the year 2000 marking, perhaps, the dawn of the Genomics Revolution. We will know only in historical hindsight.
2. The Humanist Revolution was a revolution of the mind leading to our modern concept of the individual as the legal and ethical foundation of democratic society. But, as will be seen, like the subsequent Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the Humanist Revolution happened despite the university, not because of it.
3. From an economics perspective the Humanist Revolution was the result of two factors: (i) a sudden decrease in the supply of labour, specifically of educated labour; and, (ii) growing demand by two competitors – Church and State.
4. After the first Crusade in 1095
5. Except for dynastic disputes and
those between the Papacy and the titular Western Holy Roman Emperor,
6. First was the rise of the
secular state beginning in
7. Unlike northern
8. Nonetheless the Humanists initiated serious epistemological investigations, some of which eventually entered the university, e.g., philology or comparative linguistics that, in a certain sense, was the first social science. While some Humanists attended university, they were not part of the university. Their natural environment was secular, not scholastic or religious. In effect, Humanist separated secular human life, especially politics, from religion, e.g., Machiavelli (1469-1527).
9. The second shock to the
system was the Black Death which ravaged
10. While mortality rates varied the
monastic communities had the highest incidence of victims. The ranks of the Church were decimated, e.g., the papal court at
11. Humanism assumed that Man not God is
the measure of all things. It declined as
an epistemological force for three reasons.
First, it was identified with the Republic and when the political
12. After the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, the various Humanities were, in effect, absorbed by the university under Moral Philosophy. Today, the Humanities consist of a wide range of disciplines and sub-disciplines including: folklore, history, language & literature, linguistics, philosophy, religious studies and women’s studies (Chartrand 1980).
13. The modern social sciences arose out of two forces. First, the cult of the genius found expression in two individuals (excluding Marx and Freud) – Adam Smith (1723-1790) and Auguste Comte (1798-1857). Smith gave birth to economics out of moral philosophy. Writing in 1969, economist Kenneth Boulding could observe:
Adam Smith, who has strong claim to being both the
Adam and the Smith of systematic economics, was a professor of moral philosophy
and it was at that forge that economics was made. Even when I was a student, economics was
still part of the moral sciences tripos at
14. Comte gave birth to sociology by way
of the natural sciences and in the process spawned Positivism. This, in turn, led to the Logical Positivists
15. The second force leading to the emergence of the modern social sciences was the apparent success of the experimental instrumental sciences and the accelerating progress of technology. In Smith’s case this connection with the natural sciences is made in his early essay of about 1750: Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries, illustrated by the History of Astronomy (Thomson 1965, 213). This success also led the poet Coleridge to ask the philosopher of science, William Whewell, to rename natural philosophers. In 1833, he did so, coining the term ‘scientist’ (Snyder 2000).
16. There were, however, two contrary tendencies. The first was towards a unified single social science, e.g., the sociology of Comte. The second was towards specialization. In the end, the second triumphed. Today the Social Sciences breakout into a very wide range of disciplines and sub-disciplines funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada including: administrative studies, archaeology, communications & journalism, criminology, demographics, economics, education, geography, industrial relations, information science, law, library science, political science, psycholinguistics, psychology, recreology & physical education, science policy, social work, sociology and urban & regional studies (Chartrand 1980).
17. The Humanities and the Social Sciences (HSS) seek knowledge about the human world. Whether the question is alienation, ethics, history, metaphysics, monopoly, political power or religion; the HSS are concerned with human values. They assign dominance to Sentiment with Reason and Revelation subordinate and Sensation suppressed. The primary dominant is Sentiment, the primary subordinate Reason; the secondary dominant is Revelation, the secondary and suppressed subordinate, Sensation. It is the Primary relationship: Sentiment/Reason that characterizes the HSS - values. And in both, arguably, the pursuit of fame has given way as motivation to a contribution to knowledge.
18. Knowledge in the Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) is value-based and subject to mixed value-free/normative testing in which historical context plays a critical role. It is synthetic in that it seeks reconciliation between objective and subjective truth. It exhibits shifting tolerances through time as old knowledge is recycled in a pedagogic spiral to which new knowledge is added. New knowledge therefore does not necessarily displace old knowledge and revisionism is common, i.e., seeing old things in new ways as well as seeing new things in old ways.
19. The limited success of the HSS in generating new knowledge compared to the NES can be attributed to the absence of the Pythagorean, Instrumentation and Puzzle-Solving Effects noted above. First, while there may be some relationship, there is no cognate relationship between mathematics and human behaviour. Second, HSS evidence – in its collection, compilation and analysis - is subject to intermediation by human subjects along the evidence trail inherently limiting objectivity. Third, with the pedagogic exception of economics and its Standard Model, there is no generally accepted paradigm in any HSS discipline corresponding to ‘normal science’ that, according to Kuhn, is required for efficient puzzle-solving.
1. When applied, HSS knowledge, formally and informally obtained, generates organizational technology, i.e., the ability to shape and mold human communities, enterprises, institutions and societies. This includes the entrepreneurial and managerial knowledge to combine capital, labour and technology into intermediate and final goods and services designed to satisfy human want, needs and desires. It more generally involves management and organization of the firm and nation-state. It addresses questions about how to motivate workers and managers and how to marry them with financial capital as well as physical plant and equipment. The search for the best in organizational technology is sometimes called In Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman 1982). In effect, the HSS provide the epistemological basis for governance.
2. The effects of organizational
technology have been made explicit by Harvey Liebenstein’s
discovery of ‘X-efficiency’, i.e.,
consumption in the act of production. Liebenstein estimated that poor motivation of workers and
managers costs the
3. The size of the HSS Industry has not, to my knowledge, been estimated. Its impact – economic and social, however, can be suggested. HSS research results initially in invisible innovations, i.e. ideas and insights, which affect the cognitive processes and perception of actual and potential goals and values of individuals and communities. HSS research, i.e., new knowledge, has three orders of impact. Primary impact occurs within the research community itself. The research community has been traditionally motivated by the search for knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Secondary impact occurs within the societal guidance mechanism which requires knowledge and technique for purposes of policy development and direction. Public and private policy-makers are motivated by the search for knowledge for the sake of decision and profit. Tertiary impact occurs within the economy and society as a whole resulting in amplification or other modification to the ethos, i.e. the characteristic spirit and beliefs of a community, people or individual, and the individual and collective behaviour of citizens, i.e., institutions. The concerned citizen is motivated by the search for HSS knowledge for the sake of insight into one’s community and one’s ways of life (Chartrand 1980).
1. The contemporary Arts consist of four primary disciplines and their sub-disciplines including: the literary, media, performing and visual arts. Each uses a distinct medium of expression: the written word; the recorded sound and/or image; the live stage; and, the visual image, respectively. Each discipline is composed of distinct sub-disciplines and schools. Each has a five stage production cycle: creation, production, distribution, consumption and conservation. And each takes on five distinct functional forms including: the amateur, applied, entertainment, fine and heritage arts (Chartrand April 2000).
2. The Arts have troubled western civilization from the beginning. Plato thus warned:
… we must remain firm in our conviction that hymns to the gods and praise of famous men are the only poetry which ought to be admitted into our State. For if you go beyond this and allow the honeyed muse to enter, either in epic or lyric verse, not law and the reason of mankind, which by common consent have ever been deemed best, but pleasure and pain will be the rulers in our State (Plato, Book X, 1952: 433-434).
3. It is ironic that it was not Art but Economics using Bentham’s hedonic calculus that made pleasure and pain “the rulers of our State”. Fear of Art was reinforced, not diminished, with Christianity. As one of three monotheist religions subscribing to the Mosaic Code (the others being Judaism and Islam), it explicitly prohibits worship of graven images. Among all three ‘peoples of the book’, so named in Islamic tradition, censorship of the image traces back to Moses and the Golden Calf. In the book (the meaning of the word - Bible), the Word is sacred but the image is at best profane; at worst, evil incarnate.
4. Metaphysic suppression was reinforced
by social suppression: the Arts were for the Mechanical not the Liberal or
‘free’ classes of society. Other than
‘hymns to the gods and praise of famous men” Aristotle tasked the Arts with
imitation of Nature. After the fall of
5. Once the Renaissance imitators using perspective successfully approximated the original – natural or ancient - the Arts, specifically the visual arts, attained a significantly higher social status and the visual artist attained to celebrity. Thus in 1563 in Florence, under the personal influence of Vasari “the painters, sculptors and architects cut their previous connections with the craftsmen’s guilds and formed an Academy of Art (Accademia del Disegno), the first of its kind that served as a model for later similar institutions in Italy and other countries” (Kristeller 1951, 514). Recognition reflected, however, not just the result but also their method: geometric perspective. The artist/engineer/scientist of the Renaissance was a geometer, a mathematician, an image captured in Dürer’s 1514 engraving of Melancolia holding a protractor in his right hand with his chin supported by his left, a pose somewhat reminiscent of Rodin’s much later statue The Thinker (1880). In a manner of speaking, that which allowed music to become a Liberal Art – its Pythagorean or mathematical roots – was demonstrated in the Visual Arts.
6. Imitation continued to be the test until the late 18th century when the Fine or Beaux Arts coalesced and were rationalized through Baumgarten’s philosophy of aesthetics - his new science of sensuous knowledge to balance logic as the science of intellectual knowledge (Kristeller 1952, 35). The word aesthetics itself derives from the Greek aisthesis - the activity of perception or sensation - which at root means “taking in” and “breathing in” - a “gasp”, the primary aesthetic response (Hillman 1981). In effect, Baumgarten liberated the Arts from epistemological subordination to Church and State.
7. The successful imitation of Nature by the Arts combined with the success of the NES in revealing her secrets led to what is known as “Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes” or the battle of the Ancients and the Moderns. This marked the beginning of the 18th century Enlightenment and the end of the Renaissance and of traditional Humanism (Kristeller 1952, 19). Who are superior, the Ancients or the Moderns? The answer: the Moderns.
8. In the Arts, Sensation is the primary dominant that subordinates Sentiment while Intuition is the secondary dominant that subordinates Reason. The primary configuration Sensation/Sentiment characterizes artistic knowledge – quality. As noted above, the reversed position of Sensation - subordinate in the NES but dominant in the Arts - reflects extraversion versus introversion of Sensation. It also highlights four essential differences. First is the use of concepts versus precepts.
Whereas Art begins with desired effects and finds causes to create these effects and no others, Science starts with presumed causes and seeks effects to confirm or negate these causes. Art organizes ignorance by precepts while Science organizes knowledge by concepts (Nevitt 1978, 7).
9. A second difference is that new knowledge in the Arts does not necessarily displace the old. Rather King Tut still sells; Shakespeare is still performed; Bach is played more today than in the 17th century. New works are, however, being added all the time to the inherited repertoire if they pass the test of time. Thus artists, unlike scientists, face competition not just from their peers but also from their long-dead predecessors. At the same time, Egalitarian Realism or poke-in-the-eye art including such icons as Mapplethorpe’s homo erotica photographs and Andres Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’ found an audience during the Culture Wars of the 1980s and 1990s (Chartrand 1991). These correspond to the so-called ‘Science Wars’ of the same period (Fuller 2000).
10. Third, subject to Reason in the NES, Sensation is restricted to ‘what is’. In the Arts, Sensation is dominant and an avant garde has existed since the mid-19th century that seeks change-for-change’s-sake; it seeks novelty (Scitovsky 1976). The Arts embody the impulse toward the new and original, a self-conscious search for future forms and sensations to the point that the idea of change and novelty overshadows the dimensions of actual change. The artist no longer, as in the past, simply affirms a moral-philosophic tradition but rather searches for a new sensibility, a search which society actively encourages. It has been said that what is imagined in the mind of the artist today becomes the reality of tomorrow (Bell 1976, 33-35). It is in this sense that Revelation or intuition is the secondary dominant in the Arts.
11. Fourth, the role of Reason as dominant in the NES made entry into the University natural. In the case of the Arts, however, with the exception of music (due to its Pythagorean connection with mathematics) and literature (rhetoric and grammar), the Arts were not part of the ancient or medieval liberal arts curriculum (Cantor 1969: 66-67). The Arts were and still are considered ‘crafts’, i.e., they involve experiential learning. This is epistemologically critical – knowing by doing. It was not until the Renaissance that the fine art academy was established as a formal center for visual art education, separate and distinct from the university (vom Busch 1985, 3). In theater and dance, there was no formal training in any English-speaking universities until the late 19th century and the fine arts were not fully admitted until after the Second World War (Robinson 1982, 178-179, 191-192). Once admitted, however, they had a dramatic effect on both the university and Anglosphere society in general (Toffler 1965). The traditional independent status of the music conservatory within the university is further evidence of the separate institutional pattern of learning pursued in the Arts.
12. Artistic knowledge is concerned with subjective truth; a search for a sense of kosmos or the right ordering of the multiple parts of the world. It is holistic in aesthetic contemplation or gestalt. Testing is purely personal and subjective: ‘It works for me!’ It tends towards increasing tolerance of differences, styles and tastes. It is value laden, not value free.
1. When applied, Arts knowledge, formally and informally obtained, generates aesthetic or design technology, i.e., the ability to manipulate sensation through emotion or how we feel. The Arts provide the ‘technology of the heart’. The arts industry includes all profit, nonprofit and public institutions including incorporated and unincorporated enterprise as well as self-employed artists that: (a) use one or more of the arts as a primary factor of production, e.g. advertising, fashion, industrial and product design; (b) use one or more of the arts as a tied-good in consumption, e.g. home entertainment hardware, magazines and newspapers; and/or, (c) produce one or more of the arts as their final output, i.e. create, produce, distribute and/or conserve goods and services in the literary, media, performing, visual and/or heritage arts. Using this inclusive definition, I have elsewhere estimated that the American arts industry accounts for between 6% and 8.5% of Gross National Product, i.e. all goods and services consumed in the United States but not necessarily produced there (Chartrand April 2000).
2. Unlike physical and organizational technologies, however, design technology primarily affects the demand-side of the economic equation. In effect, design technology involves the use of the Arts to manipulate the aesthetic or emotional responses of consumers. In this sense, it is the technology of the human heart primarily appealing to emotion not to reason. It is thus more sensitive to culture, custom and tradition than physical technology. This fact, together with the injunction against the study of consumer taste – “De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum” (Stigler & Becker 1977) - explains why there has been little investigation by mainstream economics and why Art is simply ignored in the Standard Model.
3. Aesthetic design is fundamentally different from technical or functional design such as a more efficient automobile engine. It contributes ‘elegance’ defined as simple but effective or “the best looking thing that works” (Cwi 1985). If a consumer does not like the way a product looks, he or she may simply not try it. In effect, design technology involves marrying aesthetic to utilitarian value.
4. Beyond consumer goods, design technology plays a critical role in advertising and forms the foundation for the entertainment industry. It is generally forgotten that within the ecology of capitalist realism, advertising is the lubricant of the market economy. And advertising, to a great extent, is the application of the literary, media, performing and visual arts to sell goods and services. Actors, dancers, singers, musicians, graphic artists, copywriters, and editors are employed to sell everything from fruit to nuts; from cars to computers, from beer to toilet paper. Traditionally, mainstream economics has viewed advertising (with the exception of pure information) as unproductive because it manipulates consumer wants through non-rational techniques. Such manipulation supposedly reduces consumer sovereignty.
art generates enjoyment, amusement and recreation. In the entertainment arts,
the relationship between science, technology and the university has been
problematic in the Anglosphere, the relationship between Art and the economy
has been even more so. As noted previously, until 1814 the Statute of Artificers had regulated training and employment of
artisans in the craft guild tradition. In that year, responding to deregulation
or laissez-faire economic policies, Parliament abolished the statute. In short
order, the guild system collapsed and the labor market became flooded with
unskilled workers. By 1835 the competitiveness of top-end British products,
particularly textiles, had declined to the point that the British Board of
Trade appointed a select committee to investigate the problem and recommend
remedies. The committee called for the direct application of art in
manufacturing in order to maintain competitiveness with European rivals,
7. Similarly, in 1870, the
Education in art stands on a somewhat different footing from education in hard thinking: for while the latter nearly always strengthens the character, the former not infrequently fails to do this. Nevertheless the development of the artistic faculties of the people is in itself an aim of the very highest importance, and is becoming a chief factor of industrial efficiency… Increasingly wealth is enabling people to buy things of all kinds to suit the fancy, with but a secondary regard to their powers of wearing; so that in all kinds of clothing and furniture it is every day more true that it is the pattern which sells the things. (Marshall 1920, 177-178)
8. Since the Great Depression of the
1930s, however, the economic importance of design, and therefore the
contribution of art to national income, has, in effect, been forgotten in the
Anglosphere. Partially this reflects the perceived dubious morality of the
artist reflected in
9. It also reflects, however, a general shortsightedness on the part of contemporary economists and other social scientists concerning the nature and implications of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution not only transformed economic production, it also transformed the nature of consumptions making phenomena like advertising, the department store, fashion, and the mail order catalogue critical to the modern economy (McCracken 1988, 4). This lack of study has resulted in little empirical evidence concerning the impact of art on economic competitiveness. But while the impact of improved design has not been quantified, its impact on competitiveness is again being recognized:
There is, then, another aspect to culture, namely good
taste, good design and creative innovation, that
should enable smaller industrial economies to compete effectively in the world
economy.... In this endeavor, higher quality implies an organic relationship
between business and engineering, on the one hand, and design and
craftsmanship, on the other.... High quality products, technologies, plants,
homes, cities and locales require the presence of creative artists of all
kinds. To increase the long-run supply of artists ... governments must support
the artists and the arts. The long-term return from investment in artists and
the arts is real and substantial. In the absence of strong public support of
1. Domains are concerned with the growth of knowledge; the Practices are concerned with its application in satisfying specific human wants, needs and desires. For my purposes, a practice is the “carrying on or exercise of a profession …, esp. of law, surgery, or medicine; the professional work or business of a lawyer or medical man” (OED, practice, 5). I will extend this definition to include other traditional and contemporary professions such as accountant, architect and engineer.
2. In turn, a profession is a “vocation in which a professed knowledge of some department of learning or science is used in its application to the affairs of others” (OED, profession, III 6). Put another way, practices “link bodies of knowledge to forms of action” (Layton 1988, 92). I will, however, narrow this definition to exclude the now obsolete definition of profession as “the function or office of a professor in a university or college; … public teaching by a professor” (OED, profession, IV 7).
3. Application of professed knowledge to satisfy the needs of others implies knowledge in action accounting for theory, the client/patient and ethics, i.e., “the science of morals; the department of study concerned with the principles of human duty” (OED, ethics, II 2). Professional ethics, of course, are a socially conditioned and historically relative set of values.
4. This distinct form of knowledge may be called ‘praxis’ a term with a colourful history. It was first coined by the alchemist, metaphysician and subsequent saint, Albert Magnus, about 1255 C.E. He derived it from a Greek noun of action meaning “doing, acting, action, practice.” (OED, praxis, Epistemology) It was re-coined by Cieszkowski in 1838 to mean “the willed action by which a theory or philosophy… becomes a social actuality.” It was then adopted by Marx in 1844 for whom it explained “how knowledge could give power” not through thought like Hegel but through the will. In this sense, praxis approximates design in its emphasis on intent (OED, praxis, 1 c). It also reflects knowing by doing, not just by the senses or mind. Practice as experience is another facet of praxis as knowledge. More generally, praxis means the “practice or exercise of a technical subject or art, as distinct from the theory of it” (OED, praxis, 1a). For my purposes it will mean ‘knowledge in action’. In this regard, it is important to remember that knowledge can be used as a verb as well as a noun (OED, knowledge, v)
5. The Practices centre on the self-regulating professions such as accounting, architecture, dentistry, engineering (applied), law and medicine. The Practices engage knowledge in real life situations while domains involve knowledge creation, e.g., knowledge-for-knowledge-sake or art-for-art’s-sake. Praxis is not academic speculation. It is not knowledge as a noun but as a verb affecting the lives of real people. As in aesthetics and science, however, the Practices do observe a certain professional distance but the object of concern, directly or indirectly, is the welfare and well being of very subjective human beings with legal rights. Atoms, words and pictures cannot sue, people can and do.
6. The Practices draw, merge, mingle and apply knowledge and methodologies from all three domains in varying combinations, e.g., the use of actors by medical schools to prepare future physicians to face the emotional realities of their practice - patients. Another example is the Art of Dentistry. Unlike academic disciplines within knowledge domains, e.g., economics, final certification or ‘licensing’ to practice is not generally granted by the university but rather by an independent professional society, e.g., a College of Physicians and Surgeons. This partially reflects the fact that praxis cannot be fully codified, i.e., written down. Put another way, there is a gap between graduation and professionalism that must be filled before being licensed to practice independently. This gap is reflected in the requirement, in all the Practices, of some kind of compulsory apprenticeship, articling or internship before licensing.
7. In many ways, the Practices are
descendents of medieval guild mysteries operating in the Mechanical Arts. More so than academic disciplines, the
Practices control entry and exit, set rates, supervise initiates and regulate practice. In the case of medicine and law they were
also the first practical subjects to be admitted to the university. Some Practices are, however, also associated
with grant-giving or funding agencies such as the Canadian Institutes for
Health Research (formerly the Medical Research Council of Canada) and the
National Institutes of Health in the
8. Guilds originally received their charters from the Crown granting them monopoly rights in return for fealty and sometimes tribute. Today the Practices are regulated by the State, but as with business law (Commons 1924), most traditional customs and privileges of the Practices are effectively enshrined, preserved and protected by legislation under Common Law.
9. As private institutions serving the
public purpose – including health, education and welfare as well as wealth
creation and preservation and protection of legal rights – the Practices have
seldom been acknowledged as critical players in the competitiveness of nations
in a global knowledge-based economy. How
they should be regulated and held accountable is, however, an important
question for public policy in general and for development of an effective
national innovation system in particular. As demonstrated by Birkenshaw, Harden and Lewis (1990) in their review of Government by Moonlight: The
Hybrid Parts of the State in the
10. Before ending this chapter with a reconciliation of Knowledge Domains and Practices, I wish to profile one of the most important and relatively recent additions to the Practices – Engineering. This will highlight the different types of knowledge involved in the Practices and differences in national treatment. Engineering, as a formal practice, did not emerge in the English-speaking world until the mid-19th century. It is the offspring of an epistemological ménage à trois of craft technology, mathematics and the natural sciences. It continued the empirical and experimental traditions of the crafts including architecture but replaced rule of thumb mathematics first by statistics (Layton 1976, 692) [L] and, much later, by calculus: “American engineers were still debating in the 1920s whether students needed to learn calculus” (Kranakis 1989, 18). It also absorbed the findings of the natural experimental sciences.
11. This order of
epistemic integration differs from continental Europe where in France, for example,
what might be called scientific
engineering emerged a hundred years earlier with a requirement for training in the
calculus at specially created academic institutes such as the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées (1747) and the Ecole Polytechnique (1794).
As a Practice, however, it was restricted to public engineering of
armaments, canals, fortifications, roads, etc., and did not extend to private
industrial production (Finch 1952). In
12. Engineering in
the Anglosphere (Bennett 2000) remains to this day much more of a
‘self-regulating profession’ than an academic discipline as in
1. Excepting the Humanities & Social Sciences, both the NES and the Arts exhibit significant praxis. In the case of the experimental instrumental sciences this includes designing and building instruments as well as their operation. In the Arts, praxis creates the illusion of verisimilitude. This facilitates what the poet Samuel Coleridge called the temporary or willing ‘suspension of disbelief” required of an audience. And like the Practices artistic knowledge is intended to affect natural persons in their daily lives. Professional ethics in the Arts, however, are radically different than in the Practices, e.g., to deliberately shock and disturb a client is not normally accepted in the Practices; it is in the Arts, e.g., The Shock of the New (Hughes 1981).
2. There are also some borderline cases such as the academic disciplines of geography and psychology which may function like Practices. In the case of psychology, for example, professional practice outside the university is common. Applied psychologists work in business, education and government conducting employee and student testing and placement, e.g., The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ®. Furthermore, psychiatry clearly crosses the border into medical practice. In the Occupational Classification Manual for the Canadian Census of 1971 ten different occupations in psychology were identified as being applicable to any industry (DBS 1971, 63). Similarly, practicing geographers can be found outside the university working in urban and transportation planning departments of governments as well as environmental departments and agencies of both business and government. Furthermore, geography’s link with geology can also crosses over the border into the NES.
3. When it comes to economics the border lines become even more obscure. Economists are employed by for-profit and non-profit enterprise as well as government. In the Occupational Classification Manual for the Canadian Census of 1971 thirty-two different occupations in economics were identified as being applicable to any industry (DBS 1971, 63).
4. Thus the borderline between Domain and Practice is more an osmotic membrane than an impenetrable barrier. Knowledge from Domains seeps into the Practices and praxis seeps into Domains. This is consonant with the interpretation of knowledge as a biological rather than mechanical phenomenon. With respects to Domains and Practices, this mutability can be expressed in the form of two related Qubits of knowledge – the EPI and the PED.
1. The EPI is a qubitic measure of epistemological knowing via the Natural & Engineering Sciences (NES), the Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS), the Arts (literary, media, performing and visual) and the Practices. The EPI can be expressed as some function of NES, HSS, Arts and the Practices. In brief, the NES generate knowledge about the physical world of matter and energy; the HSS generate knowledge about being human - individually and collectively; the Arts generate knowledge about human emotion; and, the Practices apply knowledge gleaned from the first three to answer practical and pressing problems of daily human life, e.g., death and taxes. The three domains – at their professional peaks - generate new knowledge as ‘knowledge-for-knowledge-sake’ or ‘art-for-art’s-sake’ while the Practices apply knowledge to solve practical human problems.
1. While the EPI provides a qubitic measure of epistemological knowledge, another knowledge Qubit can be identified at the pedagogic level. Knowledge can thus be classified according to its domain/practice, discipline, sub-discipline and specialty. This quartet constitutes the Qubit PED which is some function of domain/practice, discipline, sub-discipline and specialty.