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the fact that I made this decision to devote most of my time during
that period of the early fifties to the struggle outside of the
I justified this within myself by saying that this was
important for my students, you know. I did not see this as a conflict.
I felt -- I've always felt, by the way, that the academic life has
its substance by its involvement with the real problems of the
society, rather than being isolated from the society. My definition
of scholarship was that it had to be fed from the realities of the
human predicament, that the real struggles, particularly social science
-- but I think that, by the way, not only for the social sciences,
but I think it for the humanities. For the sciences, I think for
the physical sciences, I haven't worked out how it's related directly
to using something like mathematics or theoretical physics, but I
think that all aspects of human knowledge and the struggle for understanding
, that these cannot be isolated from the day to day concerns
of human beings for a better way of life.
And I know that this is not a position that is held by
all of my colleagues in the academic world or in scholarship. I know
that very strong and prestigious group in academia defines scholarship
almost exclusively in terms of isolation, which I find fascinating.
I've written about this, etc.
OK -- so, with that one exception, that period of the early
forties when I was invited to the department, through the Brown
decision, at City College, was exciting. In the period of the fifties,
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