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RIDING A MONORAIL

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J. G. Crowther of the "Manchester Guardian" introduced the crippling effects of specialization on present-day society as the thesis of his lecture in Hunt Hall. It is particularly interesting to find this distinguished visitor thinking in terms similar to those of President Conant.

There is no denying the fact of specialization and its progressive intensity. But there is likewise no denying its miring effect on the intellect and the crusty narrow insolence of the specialist who may know his field but little else. The theme is all-pervading, whether the man be a worker turning one bolt on a factory belt or a student of history endlessly annotating the private life of Napoleon.

Mr. Crowther, in proposing an antidote for the centripetal force of specialization which he finds driving inward to dictatorship, believes that "philosophic journalism" offers a possible solution. By philosophic journalism he means a great deal more than informed writing; he demands, above all, breadth of understanding, fertility of mind, and coordination of walled-in ideas. In a word, he required more intellectual leaders capable of sweeping in jumbled, fragmentary bits of knowledge and transforming them into coherent and useful entities.

In essence, Mr. Crowther's philosophy resembles President Conant's. The planning of the University Professorships is directly traceable to the necessity for broader, free, and more embracive thinking, with particular reference to the increasing complexity and specialization of contemporary society. A physicist must know more than atomic structure, a pianist more than his keyboard, a politician more than his patronage system, a laborer more than his chain-belt. He must also attempt to understand the interrelationship of them all. Hence the demand for new leaders, whether they be philosophic journalists of untrammeled professors.

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