Abraham Kuyper Center

The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University

Project: ‘The Epistemic Responsibilities of the University’

September 1st, 2016 – August 31th, 2019


Main Research Questions
  • What are the epistemic values that modern universities ought to uphold?
  • What responsibilities flow from these?
  • How can universities meet these responsibilities in the face of contemporary challenges?

Three normative hypotheses
  1. The primary values that the university should uphold are epistemic values, i.e. values having to do with truth, knowledge, justified and rational belief, insight, understanding, wisdom
  2. The epistemic values of the university include not only values having to do with research, but also with teaching and intellectual character formation
  3. One important, albeit widely disdained, epistemic responsibility of the university is to cultivate humanistic learning

Four assumptions
  1. Values are real
  2. Responsibilities are grounded in values; epistemic responsibilities are grounded in epistemic values
  3. The mission of the university requires articulation, nourishment, invigoration, and clear-headed defense
  4. Many discussions concerning the task and mission of the university are philosophical in nature


For more information:

The project is funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Photo Credit: Ars Electronica via Compfight cc