Today, many citizens grasp the core purpose of universities through the lens of career and credentials. Universities exist, in other words, to transmit information, impart skills, and issue degrees that lead to employment. The competing idea that universities are primarily concerned with seeking the truth about ourselves and our world is not in vogue.
In this lecture, Professor Robert P. George (Princeton University) proposes that universities, first and foremost, exist to pursue truth. Universities are venues that nourish the innate longing of human beings to understand themselves and their world and reshape our ways of living and thinking accordingly. Universities, properly understood, serve to cultivate the flourishing of individuals and societies in which they live.
It is awe-inspiring to consider the countless achievements for humanity that stem from research and study at universities. Even so, one of the greatest challenges that universities face today is confusion over their raison d’être. Professor George, in this lecture, invites us to rediscover the truth-seeking mission of universities, and the conditions that make truth-seeking possible, and recommit ourselves to it.
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