Many theories, and their abridgements, seek to describe the character and identity of the Cambridge Mind. The engagement is essentially contested, meaning that the alternatives are so dependent upon such diverse, but committed foundational beliefs, narratives and values, that agreement is impossible.
Yet the endeavour is of great importance when we consider the goal, an answer to why Cambridge University since 1830, has produced many of the greatest thinkers, theories and inventions of the modern world.
My contribution here is that Cambridge intellectuals between 1830 and 1880, produced and reproduced radical hypothesis with dramatic effects: that the universe was knowable, that nothing within the human cognitive framework excluded complete rational knowledge, and that religions should not be allowed to govern, nor censor, research exploration.
My own list of factors, which have engaged my published work, include two essential ingredients: that intellectuals are fashioned, and leaders reproduced, within vigorous ‘knowledge networks’, and that a knowledge is ‘organized’ in structures, institutions and practices to reproduce the achieved knowledge.