Historia Universitatis Iassiensis 9, 11–64

Iulian BOCAI | Reconfigurarea disciplinelor în universitățile europene la începutul secolului al XIX-lea

Abstract. From 1780 to 1820, almost all European universities were thought to be in a deep crisis and there were many who claimed that their impasse could only be rectified by serious reform. The reform (in some countries implemented more slowly that in others) was both administrative, in that it redefined the relationship between the university and the state, and curricular, in that it reformulated relationships between the fields of study themselves, while trying to integrate old disciplines alongside new sciences in the same institutional setting. This essay follows curricular change in English, French and German universities, with a focus on the philosophy faculty, at the crossover from the 18th to the 19th centuries. It looks at course catalogues from German universities and gathers together information about lectures at other universities of the time, in order to paint a clearer picture of what students studied inside the philosophy faculty and what the relationship between various disciplines taught within the faculty was. It then tries to trace, analyse and explain the important curricular changes taking place in this interval, changes that led to the replacement of the old medieval subdivisions of study with the ones that we are familiar with from the contemporary university. In its second part, the article is concerned with an analysis of the various theories regarding the purpose and function of the university as an institution and a place of study, trying to better figure out how major theoreticians of education thought about the institution as such and how they answered (whether they encouraged or resisted) the changes it underwent in this period. Studying the problem from the point of view of institutional and intellectual history at once, the study hopes to offer a clearer picture of what the transition from the medieval university (as a place of teaching) to the modern university (as a place of learning) meant and how that, in turn, changed the way we think of the divisions of knowledge altogether.