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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/182

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public policy is a question of right and wrong. To such questions all matters of party ascendency, all matters of individual advancement must yield precedence. There is no virtue in the acts of ignorant majorities. The danger of ignorance is only intensified when rolled up in majorities. Truth is strong and error is weak, and the majorities of error melt away under the influence of a few men whose right acting is based on right thinking.

Right thinking has been your privilege: right acting is now your duty; and at no time in the history of the world has duty been more imperative than now.



THE peculiar character of the German university springs from its combining the two purposes of instruction and research. It is at once a high school and an academy, meaning by academy an institution for scientific investigation. The relation in which these two functions stand to one another corresponds with the form of the university in the different epochs of its development. The tendency now evidently prevails to give research the preference over instruction. In the estimates of the universities themselves, scientific work has the higher rating. The scientific purposes are most conspicuous in the public view; and the credit in which German universities are held abroad depends first upon their scientific achievements. The estimate is in agreement with the facts, and no wrong will be done to the German professors if we say that many among them work less in instruction than in scientific labor, that they are more academicians than teachers.

It was not always so; it has been so only for a short time. Instruction had the foremost place till in the eighteenth century, and the change that has taken place did not fairly begin till within the nineteenth century. I shall endeavor to trace this development and its causes in a short historical review.

The universities originated in the middle ages as schools. Especially were the universities in Germany, in their beginning, what their official name—studium generale—implies, places for general study. The professors were likewise at first called schoolmasters (magistri regentes, sc, scholas), and the students scholars (scholares). The artistical, now the philosophical faculty, which regularly comprised by far the largest proportion of the students, had wholly the character of a school. Its object was to give