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Education and Philosophy Sample Paper

Smith and Kant on Universities
Immanuel Kant and Adam Smith are two of the greatest thinkers to come from the western civilization. Kant is more famous for his work on morality and the philosophy which governs human interaction while Smith is known as the father of modern economics. Both of them spent a large part of their lives in universities and were connected with the field of education for a greater part of their careers. Despite this, they take different views on how universities should operate and the use of a university in a society. To better understand their works, it is important for us to understand how they viewed this important institution.

Kant wrote a lot more about universities and was deeper ingrained into the idea of a university than Smith primarily due to his extensive work on philosophical thought and the idea of morality. A part of that morality was peace between people as well as nations and the ideal university was seen as one which helps in the creation of that peace. The academic peace in a university is established by debate and mutual respect amongst the faculty members despite their differences in learning or philosophical background. The same peace should be established in the world amongst countries despite their individual differences in ideology (Kant, 1963).

When the idea for perpetual peace using the model of a university setting was first presented, it was certainly very applicable since universities of the time had very different structures as compared to the universities we see today. Normally a university would be formed with three high faculties and one low faculty. The high faculties of law, medicine and theology were used to train lawyers, doctors and priests. The fourth faculty of philosophy conducted the coordination of these faculties and trained students in other subjects concerned with liberal arts and the sciences (Palmquist, 2006).

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