A theme in German history is the Drang nach Osten, the pressure to the East, which was called into play from the time of the Teutonic knights to that of Adolf Hitler. Changing the phrase a little we would like to call attention in the field of academic endeavour to a Drang nach Ordnung, a compulsion to impose order. Academics, confronted with the mess and complexity of the real world seek to order it in the sense of establishing rules, positing patterns of cause and effect and proclaiming typologies (the classification of types).
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