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    Gnosticism, progressivism and the (im)possibility of the ethical academy

    Carlin, Matthew ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0955-9463 (2021) Gnosticism, progressivism and the (im)possibility of the ethical academy. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53 (5). pp. 436-447. ISSN 0013-1857

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    Abstract

    There is a growing concern today with the state of ethics in higher education as it relates to everything from increasing corporate influence and widespread use of questionable research methods, to cheating and plagiarism committed by students and faculty alike. Multiple studies, from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, have recently approached the question of academic ethics in the hopes of identifying some of the fundamental problems confronting universities while advancing possible solutions for improving conduct across the academy. This article seeks to contribute to this discussion by analyzing the current state of ethics in higher education through an engagement with the concept of gnosticism—a term that refers most notably today to the modern compulsion to 'fix' an inherently fractured and malformed world. Utilizing the works of Del Noce, Voegelin, and Rosmini, this article focuses on providing a critique of the current state of the academy in relation to ethics, drawing parallels between the gnostic roots of 20th century totalitarianisms and current progressive ideology endemic to higher education. While primarily serving as a critique of contemporary progressivism in the academy, this article will also argue for the need to reconstruct a transcendental ethics as a response to the current ethical crisis countenanced by modern gnosticism.

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