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The Provost Seminar Series Examines "The Urgent Need for an Academic Revolution: From Knowledge to Wisdom," November 21, 2008

November 12, 2008

Philosopher Nicholas Maxwell is calling for a reform of academia - a shift from simply acquiring knowledge to acquiring wisdom. A 30-year veteran of University College London, Maxwell will be the guest speaker for the Provost's Seminar Series at Bentley University on Friday, November 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m in the Adamian Academic Center, 175 Forest Street, Waltham.  A luncheon reception will immediately follow.

Maxwell's presentation, "The Urgent Need for an Academic Revolution: From Knowledge to Wisdom," will discuss the need for academia to devote itself to seeking and promoting wisdom by rational means rather than giving priority to the search for knowledge -- wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, and thus including knowledge and much more. According to Maxwell, the revolution would change every branch and aspect of academic inquiry; social inquiry would be at the heart of the academic enterprise, intellectually more fundamental than natural science.

Nicholas Maxwell has devoted much of his working life to arguing that we need to bring about a revolution in academia so that it comes to seek and promote wisdom and does not just acquire knowledge. He has published five books on this theme: What's Wrong With Science? (Bran's Head Books, 1976); From Knowledge to Wisdom (Blackwell, 1984; 2nd edition, Pentire Press, 2007); The Comprehensibility of the Universe (Oxford University Press, 1998); The Human World in the Physical Universe (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001); and Is Science Neurotic? (Imperial College Press, 2004). He has also contributed to a number of other books and has published numerous papers in science and philosophy journals on issues that range from consciousness to quantum theory. For nearly 30 years he taught philosophy of science at University College London, where he is now Emeritus Reader. He has presented in Britain, Europe and North America, and has broadcast on the BBC and CBC. In 2003, he founded Friends of Wisdom, an international group of people sympathetic to the idea that academic inquiry should help humanity acquire more wisdom by rational means.

 For more information about the Provost's Seminar Series, please visit To register for this free program, please contact Diane Whelan at 781.891.2471 or e-mail

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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