The Artist in a Positivist Academy

Bridging the Artist-Scholar Divide

in Theoria
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  • 1 University of Botswana ikpe@mopipi.ub.bw
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Abstract

One of the consequences of hyper-positivism on contemporary scholarship has been an increase in measuring academic excellence by instrumental rather than intrinsic value. Increasingly, university disciplines are required to demonstrate their relevance in the marketplace, resulting in a tendency by some arts and humanities scholars to deemphasise research and concentrate on creative practice. This paper attempts to bridge the gap between these two responses. It argues that concentrating on creative practice (techne) reduces the art academic to a tradesperson and that concentrating on rhetoric while ignoring arts practice alienates the artist from vital skills and techniques. It identifies scholarship as the defining feature of academic excellence and argues that this is better achieved when academics use critical thinking to balance creative expression and research based practice.

Contributor Notes

Ibanga B. Ikpe teaches Contemporary Analytic Philosophy and Critical Thinking at the University of Botswana and has served as a critical thinking consultant to the Botswana Defence Command and Staff College. His research is in the areas of critical thinking, military ethics, philosophical analysis and philosophical practice. He is an APPA certified philosophical counsellor and a certified conflict mediator. E-mail: ikpe@mopipi.ub.bw

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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