Only connect , Erik De Corte & Jens Erik Fenstad, From Information to Knowledge; from Knowledge to Wisdom, London, Portland Press, 2010, 141-146, Wright, Barbara
Synthesize and conclude: this is the brief which I was given in relation to the
foregoing proceedings. A fascinating, though daunting, task. To synthesize
inevitably involves a degree of subjectivity and, as Flaubert sagely adumbrated,
to conclude is folly. On the supposition that all of our hypotheses are working
hypotheses, I shall make the following observations, in the hope that they may
attract others and that the on‑going debate may be enhanced and carried forward.
We live in a world which has the illusion of having fulfilled the dream
of the Enlightenment. The wonders of technology have opened amazingly new
horizons, but our ‘brave, new world’ is neither as ‘brave’ nor as ‘new’ as it is often
presented. ‘Interdisciplinarity’ has become a buzz‑word for administrators as
well as for academic planners, eager to economize by letting an entire subject‑area
drop off the table without being noticed, blithely ignoring the fact that countless
others before us were polymaths and that the universal learning of the Renaissance
man has for centuries been the bedrock of Western civilization. Nor is this new
technological world all that ‘brave’, containing, as we shall see, various threats to
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