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"In an age of growing specialization, the university must emphasize the links between different disciplines."

Ilyas Khan, researcher of Cambridge Judge Business School, gave a seminar on Wittgenstein organized by the project of the ICS 'Religion and Civil Society'

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PHOTO: Carlota Cortés
02/02/15 16:39 Carlota Cortes

"At a time when everything is becoming more and more specialized, one of the most relevant issues for the university is to emphasize the links between different disciplines". So said Ilyas Khan, researcher of the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge, on the occasion of a seminar he gave at the University of Navarra on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. The activity was organized by 'Religion and Civil Society', one of the eight projects of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS).

From agreement with Ilyas Khan, Wittgenstein was one of the leaders in the holistic view of knowledge. "He constitutes one of the most popular and studied figures among philosophers precisely because he breaks down the walls between disciplines," he said. 

Wittgenstein's work in open access

According to Khan, the Viennese thinker was one of the few who looked closely at the fundamentals of mathematics in a "courageous" and "bold" way. "We are often afraid of mathematicians, but he was not. He saw himself as a philosopher of mathematics," he said. "I don't believe in artificial barriers between the university and life outside of it either."

On the other hand, Ilyas Khan expressed his rejection of the obstacles that academic publishers put in the way of access to certain works. In that sense, he referred to the efforts he has made - in a project that involved Trinity College Cambridge, University of Bergen and the Austrian National Library Services - to make Wittgenstein's work open to everyone: "Since 2013 it is available without mediation or editing by means of a free access base through the Internet".

Ilyas Khan is the 'Leader in Residence' at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, where he has been a research fellow since 2012. He has been the manager of the creation and funding of the business accelerator program at the School. His academic interests are primarily in the Philosophy of Mathematics and the work of Wittgenstein.