5 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. elements of navigation and Geography to a sufficient degree,

      Evidencing just how different a world we live in, the process of navigation (almost certainly with a physical map!) was once a topic covered by University professors. We can question whether a University education is still meant to supply young people with the practical everyday skills they will need when they enter the workforce. I often hear people complain that despite a multi-thousand dollar education, they don't feel prepared to navigate adult life (e.g. filing taxes, doing basic car repair, etc.) Should such practical knowledge be the responsibility of a place of higher learning? It's clear that on some level, the founders of UVA thought so, but they established the school in an age before YouTube tutorials.

    2. of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics

      This section of the document was obviously penned––or at the very least heavily influenced by Jefferson himself. The understanding of theology as a more practical moralistic framework than an actual system of beliefs is exactly what you'd expect from a man that cut all the miracles out of the bible. Now that the college actually offers religious studies, Jefferson's theistic understanding of Christianity is probably offered as more of an alternative interpretation than the founding doctrine that it once was. I personally have not taken Can a Text be Ethical, but I would imagine that it offers some insight into the breadth of views that Christianity can be understood to cover.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. Law of Nature & Nations

      Here, we see the University offering study of 'Natural Law'---an intersection of politics, psychology, philosophy, and a dash of spirituality that was wildly popular with the founding fathers. The basic premise is that the "nature" of humanity causes us to demand governance and order. The founding documents of the US are heavily reliant on natural law. Today, does the University––and education in general–– highlight these philosophies clearly enough, or does a merely cursory knowledge of the thinking behind some of our most important documents fuel historical and political ignorance?

    2. to the Virginia General Assembly

      It's vital to remember when reading this document that while it has no legal basis in and of itself, it is being submitted to the State Assembly. This has a number of important implications, but its most noticeable effect is on the diction that the document uses. The language is formal and the sentences are lengthy and self-referential, both of which can give rise to considerable confusion in a modern reading.

  3. Sep 2017
    1. fruit of the alliance between church and State

      In the previous lines, the founders of the university make it clear they are interested in re-designing the future, not simply repeating the mistakes of the past. This line displays one of Jefferson's great complaints about religion: that it inspires adherence to the status quo, and discourages dissent and curiosity. The University is meant to be a platform for change and advancement.