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Vocation across the AcademyA New Vocabulary for Higher Education$
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David S. Cunningham

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190607104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190607104.001.0001

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The Art and Science of Vocation

The Art and Science of Vocation

Wisdom and Conscience as Companions on a Way

(p.156) 7 The Art and Science of Vocation
Vocation across the Academy

Celia Deane-Drummond

Oxford University Press

Undergraduates study a wide range of subjects that differ markedly from one another in terms of methods, sources, and norms. Moreover, the world they will enter after graduation is marked by an increasing degree of supercomplexity, demanding fractal ways of knowing. Students in all fields will be better prepared to face this situation if they develop certain practices related to vocational thinking, giving attention to the virtues of practical and speculative wisdom and to the role of conscience. Perhaps especially in the natural sciences, where decisions are too often made in a purely instrumental way, these practices can expand students’ repertoire of approaches to the larger questions of meaning and purpose that naturally arise in their studies. The chapter concludes by describing a particular instance in which some of these concepts and tools were employed among students, in order to illustrate their importance for vocational exploration and discernment.

Keywords:   vocation, calling, natural sciences, supercomplexity, virtue, practical wisdom, speculative wisdom, conscience, science and religion

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