For hundreds of years, knowledge has been central in understanding the university. Over recent decades, however, it is the economic value of knowledge that has come to the fore. Now, in a post-truth world, knowledge is also treated with suspicion and has become a vehicle for ideologies. Knowledge and the University combats all these ways of thinking. Its central claim is that knowledge is of value because of its connection with life. Knowledge is of life, from life, in life and for life.

With an engaging philosophical discussion, and with a consideration of the evolution of higher education institutions, this book:

  • Examines ways in which research, teaching and learning are bound up with life;
  • Looks to breathe new life into the university itself;
  • Widens the idea of the knowledge ecology to embrace the whole world;
  • Suggests new roles for the university towards culture and the public sphere.

Knowledge and the University is a radical text that looks to engender nothing less than a new spirit of the university. It offers a fascinating read for policy makers, institutional leaders, academics and all interested in the future of universities.

chapter |13 pages


The life-enhancing university

part I|54 pages

The university and life

chapter 1|14 pages

Life in truth and truth in life

chapter 2|12 pages

The real thing

chapter 3|12 pages

Re-placing the humanities

chapter 4|12 pages

Where’s the life in academic knowledge?

chapter |3 pages


On life

part II|63 pages

The spirit of academic knowledge

chapter 5|14 pages

More than mere debate

chapter 6|12 pages

A will to know

chapter 7|12 pages

Living with darkness

chapter 8|12 pages

Edifying knowledge

chapter 9|12 pages

A culture of lively discourse

part III|41 pages

Cultivating knowledge in the university

chapter 10|13 pages

Living reason

chapter 11|12 pages

Widening the knowledge ecology

chapter 12|12 pages

Reaching out

chapter |3 pages


Re-enchanting the university with a new cognitive spirit