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Talcott Parsons is a commanding presence and one of the vital theoretical minds in sociology today. With Gerald Platt he provides a major contribution to understanding the relation of the university to the wider community of intellectuals in modern society and of the structure of varying sectors within the university. The authors direct their attention to the highly differentiated system of the university relative to the structure of society as a whole and to its culture. They see this differentiation as a function of what they call the cognitive complex, the production of knowledge, competence, rational action, and intelligence, all guided by a set of values which are called those of cognitive rationality. The only systematic theoretical analysis of higher education written to date, this major work makes substantial additions to knowledge of the sociology of education and to the creative use of systematic theory in contemporary sociology.