“It is an unscrupulous intellect that does not pay to antiquity it’s due reverence”
Erasmus was born an illegitimate child in Rotterdam on 27th October 1466 to Gerard of Gouda – a priest – and Margaret, daughter of a physician of Zevenbergen. His ‘illegitimacy’ troubled him greatly through life and as late as 1516 he sought papal dispensation for the circumstances of his birth.
Erasmus was deeply interested in the aims and methods of education from a young age. He came to be known as the ‘Prince of Humanists’ advocating a new curriculum and new methods of instruction which contrasted to the traditions of the ‘Schoolmen’. The humanist curriculum put emphasis on the formation of character and not necessarily the acquisition of knowledge per se.
Here is the address at the beginning of the Ragged year in Edinburgh where I deal with the issue of expertise and how we are all a part of it. It recaps the project and what it’s ambitions are and set the scene for the first two talks of the Ragged University year…
Welcome to the beginning of the Edinburgh Ragged University year. There will be a break between the two talks when we can eat, refresh our glasses and get to know who is in the room. This room is a space private to you, and like any personal space, it is not monitored with forms, questionnaires or number counting. It is a space sacred to getting to know other people on your own terms and learning something new.
What the concept of social capital has brought to the debate is, at bottom, an interest in the pay offs that arise from our relationships. The idea that social capital returns tangible benefits to its holders is obviously open to testing against evidence.
I first encountered the Love Music Community Choir whilst meeting a friend, Colin, for coffee. At the same time as chatting about the Ragged project and all the different forms of education which experience can take, Colin suggested we move outside with a wry smile.