Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 8. 10 June 1970

The utilitarian view

The utilitarian view

When changes are urged on the universities, those urging them invariably intend that the universities should be more directly useful to the community. Within the universities there have been and still are those who abhor utility, as if what is utilitarian cannot be scholarly. That is to take much too narrow a view of utility. John Stuart Mill may not have been entirely right when he said, "I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions", but he was not entirely wrong either, given his qualification that "it must be utility in its largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of a man as a progressive being". The present enormous investment by the state in the universities reflects the view that the universities have a utility, not perhaps recognized 40 years ago; and the universities have a duty to respond to that view. There is nothing incompatible between the primary objective of the university as I have defined it earlier—namely the pursuit of knowledge-and the notion of utility, especially if taken in the broad sense of Mill.