Usefulness of the humanities beyond market and ‘Bildung’: - And beyond the idealtypes of the reckless follower of the market, the critical interventionist, the agnostic humanist and the visitor from the ivory tower

Gimmler, A. (Paneldeltager)

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragForedrag og præsentationer i privat eller offentlig virksomhed


To make a long history short: We were asked to answer the question ‘what is the core of the arts and humanities’? My answer is: the historical core already indicates the tension we are posed with today. The new core cannot be of a harmonious kind. The tension between research that is ivory tower-like and research that is intervening or even blindly following the market is not one to overcome with buzz words like innovation, creativity etc.
One of the big challenges I see is the tendency to think in production terms. However, a more modest position instead of sheer production as an end in itself, would be better: We are affected by the production virus. We produce articles and books with a concept of Bildung and knowledge that is not tuned to this kind of activity. We are oriented towards the ideals of operational and interventionist knowledge typical for engineers without having the appropriate tools or methods at hand. The real revolution would start and I am sure there are some that are already doing this, if we accepted that knowledge that has a societal impact has to be developed in a different way than the Humboldt idea of Bildung. That doesn’t mean we have to stop the emphasis on the reflective stance which is so important for Humboldt. Now, I talk as a philosophical pragmatist: For a pragmatist ideas are prescriptions for action. To put our concepts and theories to test in practice could be a very harsh experience, but could also help us to find the new core of the arts and humanities.

Periode5 maj 2015
PlaceringAalborg, Danmark