Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 796.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 07:31:25 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <email@example.com>
Subject: Frye on disciplinarity
At one time or another I have quoted Northrop Frye from memory to the
effect that each discipline is the centre of all knowledge -- the most
generous view I know on what disciplines can be. This is, I think,
important enough a reference to get both right and complete. It is as follows:
"It takes a good deal of maturity to see that every field of knowledge is
the centre of all knowledge, and that it doesn't matter so much what you
learn when you learn it in a structure that can expand into other
Northrop Frye, "The Beginning of the Word". Ontario Council of Teachers
Keynote Address, 30 October 1980. Indirections 6 (Winter 1981). Reprinted
in Northrop Frye, On Education. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside,
1988, pp. 9-21. The quotation occurs on p. 10.
Among the many other utterances to which this could be connected is the old
definition of God, "centre everywhere, circumference nowhere", which (along
with the rest of literature in many languages) Frye would have had in mind.
In any case it is very close to a divine view of what education is all about.
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Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
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