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Anne Dalke's picture

overspecializing

I'm interested in your questions and suggestions, Elise, and very much look forward to getting back to them when we arrive @ the more "literary" portion of this course. In the meantime, I'd like to "bookmark" them with this passage from my current bedtime reading, Isaac Asimov's Prelude to Foundation:

"There's so much knowledge to be had that specialists cling to their specialties as a shield against having to know anything about anything else. They avoid being drowned"...."how harmful overspecialization is. It cuts knowledge at a million points and leaves it bleeding."

What we may be talking about, in other words--along with biological evolution and the development of literature--is the larger academic phenomenon of specialization, and the possibility that overspecialized fields, and the scholars within them, may "lose some of their original potential to diversity" and generate new ideas...

Oof. Hard thoughts. Probing questions.

 

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