عنوان مقاله [English]
By referring to the history of university in western civilization and the thoughts of French Philosopher, Jacques Derrida, concerning the definition of University, this paper briefly examines the problem concerning university as an institution and as an idea. To do this, I argue that the history of the university intimately follows the history of western culture. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire it was the Christian church that held western culture as one. The University of Paris was the medieval university par excellence. In 1694 a new type of university came to existence that separated from the ways of the past. Established approximately five centuries after the University of Paris, the University of Halle departed from the Parisian idea that higher education must be comprehended inside the framework of the Christian faith and introduced the idea of the university as a secular institution, existing to assist the secular state. This idea is the essential element of the modern university. If the universities of Paris and Halle emphasize that aspect of the university that has represented the interest of the wider society, the University of Berlin was founded for very different reasons. The University of Berlin was founded in order that a few, academically capable individuals could pursue knowledge. The age of globalization, however, which has been formed around the idea of economism will necessitate a new type of university, one extremely alike to the University of Phoenix. The University of Phoenix, founded in 1976, is a business-related university compelled by law to make the most financial gain for its financiers. The idea forming the foundation of this university is that the most significant purpose of higher education is to teach functional skills and knowledge to its “customers”—the word it prefers to “students”. While the term university as an institution has tended to have limited connotations, Derrida argues that university as an idea has a boundless, unrestricted and unconditional implication. Thus, he questions the common connotation of university as an exclusively institutional term. The conclusion summarizes the major themes articulated in those discussions, and suggests further directions to explore toward the constructive conceptualizing of university, based on the "Inclusion of the Other."