I am having trouble separating the process of delegitimisation from the discursive opposition of liberal or traditional academic –and useful, skilled, knowledge
The process of delegitimation is one that functions at a level separate to the binary opposite of theoretical and applied knowledge, though it can easily be mistaken for that. This is because theoretical and applied knowledge operate within separate fields of discourse, as Lyotard shows.
But the actual reason for delegitimation is that the only operator of legitimacy is the producer of knowledge: knowledge legitimates itself. Where then is its value? Where is its legitimacy? It may actually have legitimacy but what it doesn’t have is a means to prove that it is legitimate.
This is why it looks like a division between applied and liberal knowledge: when the problem is that legitimacy is incestuous, external application appears to be the solution. But in fact external application is not entirely relevant: except that the statement (in the language game) that ‘application is outside of the scope of the university’s project’ functions to delegitimise it – because it emphasises that it is only those who possess it that can judge it: for what, then, is it worth?
Please help, if you can!