4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professor.

      It is remarkable to think that there were ever people well-versed enough in multiple subjects within broad umbrella categories (such as “modern languages,” or “pure mathematics”) to be able to teach all of the classes in any such overarching group. Nowadays, many professors have rather specific specialties and teach within only one department. Was it the case that academics had a broader knowledge base 200 years ago, or was that a higher education didn’t go in-depth enough into topics to make having more specialized professors necessary?

    2. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      This sounds like the beginnings of UVA's liberal arts curriculum and writing requirements. One of the benefits of a UVA education is that students are encouraged to be knowledgeable in a variety of subjects, and it is interesting to see that this has been a part of Jefferson's vision from the beginning. In the modern job market, it is essential that people have versatile skills to find employment, so it was very forward-thinking of Jefferson to require this of his students. In Jefferson’s day, most people maintained the same job for their entire lives, so the value of this plan is even more evident now than ever.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce and by well informed views of political economy to give a free scope to the public industry.

      Even though Jefferson had an aristocratic upbringing and was obviously affluent (few without wealth had the luxury of pursuing such philosophical endeavors as the founding of a nation), he seemed to want to identify with certain parts of the working class, particularly farmers. Jefferson himself was undeniably an intellectual, but he often his appreciation for agriculture shows up many times in this document (like in this section and when he specified that a purpose of chemistry was “to comprehend the theory of Agriculture”) as well as in some of his other statements too. For instance, he once claimed that “those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people.” Although UVA definitely catered to privileged youths from the beginning, Jefferson did seem to want to make education more accessible to those the chosen people of God.


  3. Sep 2017
    1. Ideology

      Although in modern times we generally consider "ideologies" to be political or religious sets of values, the ideology of Jefferson’s time was similar to today's field of psychology. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it used to be defined as the "science of ideas." This is interesting because much of the actual science behind the brain that is taught in current psychology classes wasn't discovered until the late 1800's (at the very earliest). I would be curious to learn more about what the field of ideology consisted of in the early 1800’s, given what little information was known about the brain at that time.