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Wilhelm von Humboldt's Treatise "On the Internal and External Organization of the Higher Scientific Institutions in Berlin" (1810)

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In the process there arises between the university and the academy such a competition, antagonism, and reciprocal interaction that if one must be concerned about an excess and lack of activity within them, they will bring themselves into balance. [ . . . ]

The appointment of university teachers must be reserved exclusively to the state, and it is surely not a good practice to allow the faculties more influence on it than a perspicacious and reasonable committee would exercise on its own. For at the university, antagonism and friction is salutary and necessary, and the collision that occurs between the teachers through their business itself can also shift their point of view involuntarily. Moreover, the make-up of the universities is too closely tied to the immediate interests of the state. [ . . . ]

Source: Wilhelm von Humboldt, Werke in fünf Bänden [Works in Five Volumes], edited by Andreas Flitner and Klaus Giel, vol. 4: Schriften zur Politik und zum Bildungswesen [Writings on Politics and Education]. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 3rd edition,1982, pp. 253-65.

Original German text reprinted in Walter Demel und Uwe Puschner, eds. Von der Französischen Revolution bis zum Wiener Kongreß 1789-1815 [From the French Revolution to the Congress of Vienna, 1789-1815], Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, vol. 6. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1995, pp. 382-91.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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