Idea of a Univ., Disc. 7, continued

ImageDavison paraphrasing Lord Bacon wrote “that history would give fulness, moral philosophy strength, and poetry elevation to the understanding.” He noted that different studies aid and correct each other because each has its defects.

Newman concludes the discourse by stating that if he had to speak of the practical end of University education he would say that it is to train good members of society: “Its art is the art of social life, and its end is fitness for the world. It neither confines its views to particular professions on the one hand, nor creates heroes or inspires genius on the other.”

Newman holds that the University that does not promise an Aristotle, a Shakespeare or a Washington: “But a University training is the great ordinary means to a great but ordinary end; it aims at raising the intellectual tone of society, at cultivating the public mind, at purifying the national taste, at supplying true principles to popular enthusiasm and fixed aims to popular aspiration, at giving enlargement and sobriety to the ideas of the age, at facilitating the exercise of political power, and refining the intercourse of private life.”

“It is the education” Newman continues “which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them.” It teaches him to detect what is important and relevant. “It prepares him to fill any post with credit, and to master any subject with facility. It shows him how to accommodate himself to others, how to throw himself into their state of mind, how to bring before them his own, how to influence them, how to come to an understanding with them, how to bear with them.” And all this is as useful as the arts which pursue wealth or health.

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