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ラッセル『教育論』(Bertrand Russell On Education/松下彰良・訳)

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第三部 知性の教育
 第18章 大学(OE18-080)

Pt. 3: Intellectual education
Chap.18 The University (OE18-080)

Research is at least as important as education, when we are considering the functions of universities in the life of mankind. New knowledge is the chief cause of progress, and without it the world would soon become stationary. It could continue, for a time, to improve by the diffusion and wider use of existing knowledge, but this process, by itself, could not last long. And even the pursuit of knowledge, if it is utilitarian, is not self-sustaining. Utilitarian knowledge needs to be fructified by disinterested investigation, which has no motive beyond the desire to understand the world better. All the great advances are at first purely theoretical, and are only afterwards found to be capable of practical applications. And even if some splendid theory never has any practical use, it remains of value on its own account ; for the understanding of the world is one of the ultimate goods. If science and organization had succeeded in satisfying the needs of the body and in abolishing cruelty and war, the pursuit of knowledge and beauty would remain to exercise our love of strenuous creation. I should not wish the poet, the painter, the composer, or the mathematician to be preoccupied with some remote effect of his activities in the world of practice. He should be occupied, rather, in the pursuit of a vision, in capturing and giving permanence to something which he has first seen dimly for a moment which he has loved with such ardour that the joys of this world have grown pale by comparison. All great art and all great science springs from the passionate desire to embody what was at first an unsubstantial phantom, a beckoning beauty luring men away from safety and ease to a glorious torment. The men in whom this passion exists must not be fettered by the shackles of a utilitarian philosophy, for to their ardour we owe all that makes man great.

(掲載日:2015.08.05/更新日: )