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An intellectual is a person who engages in
critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments to form a judgement. The subject is complex; several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, and unbiased analys ...
,
research Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic, characterized by a particular attentiveness ...
, and reflection about the
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, rea ...
of society, and who proposes solutions for the
normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good, desirable, or permissible, and others as bad, undesirable, or impermissible. A norm in ...
problems of society. Coming from the world of culture, either as a creator or as a mediator, the intellectual participates in politics, either to defend a concrete proposition or to denounce an injustice, usually by either rejecting or producing or extending an
ideology An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied prim ...
, and by defending a system of
values In ethics and social sciences, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining which actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics in ethics), or to describe the significance of dif ...
.


Etymological background


"Man of letters"

The term "man of letters" derives from the French term ''
belletrist is a category of writing, originally meaning beautiful or fine writing. In the modern narrow sense, it is a label for literary works that do not fall into the major categories such as fiction, poetry, or drama. The phrase is sometimes used pejora ...
'' or ''homme de lettres'' but is not synonymous with "an academic". A "man of letters" was a literate man, able to read and write, as opposed to an
illiterate Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in written form in some specific context of use. In other words, huma ...
man in a time when
literacy Literacy in its broadest sense describes "particular ways of thinking about and doing reading and writing" with the purpose of understanding or expressing thoughts or ideas in written form in some specific context of use. In other words, huma ...
was rare and thus highly valued in the upper strata of society. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the term ''Belletrist(s)'' came to be applied to the ''literati'': the French participants in—sometimes referred to as "citizens" of—the
Republic of Letters The Republic of Letters (''Respublica literaria'') is the long-distance intellectual community in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and the Americas. It fostered communication among the intellectuals of the Age of Enlightenment, or ''phil ...
, which evolved into the
salon Salon may refer to: Common meanings * Beauty salon, a venue for cosmetic treatments * French term for a drawing room, an architectural space in a home * Salon (gathering), a meeting for learning or enjoyment Arts and entertainment * Salon (P ...
, a social institution, usually run by a hostess, meant for the edification, education, and cultural refinement of the participants. In the late 19th century, when literacy was relatively common in European countries such as the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Nor ...
, the "Man of Letters" (''littérateur'') denotation broadened to mean "specialized", a man who earned his living writing intellectually (not creatively) about literature: the
essay An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a letter, a paper, an article, a pamphlet, and a short story. Essays have been sub-classified as formal a ...
ist, the
journalist A journalist is an individual that collects/gathers information in form of text, audio, or pictures, processes them into a news-worthy form, and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism ...
, the
critic A critic is a person who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as art, literature, music, cinema, theater, fashion, architecture, and food. Critics may also take as their subject social or governme ...
, et al. Examples include
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. The ''Oxford D ...
,
Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature, notably the novels ''Ivanhoe'', '' Rob Roy'' ...
and
Thomas Carlyle Thomas Carlyle (4 December 17955 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, historian and philosopher. A leading writer of the Victorian era, he exerted a profound influence on 19th-century art, literature and philosophy. Born in Ecclefechan, Dum ...
. In the 20th century, such an approach was gradually superseded by the academic method, and the term "Man of Letters" became disused, replaced by the generic term "intellectual", describing the intellectual person.


"Intellectual"

The earliest record of the English noun "intellectual" is found in the 19th century, where in 1813,
Byron George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), known simply as Lord Byron, was an English romantic poet and Peerage of the United Kingdom, peer. He was one of the leading figures of the Romantic movement, and h ...
reports that 'I wish I may be well enough to listen to these intellectuals'. Over the course of the 19th century, other variants of the already established adjective 'intellectual' as a noun appeared in English and in French, where in the 1890s the noun ('intellectuels') formed from the adjective 'intellectuel' appeared with higher frequency in the literature. Collini writes about this time that " ong this cluster of linguistic experiments there occurred ... the occasional usage of ‘intellectuals’ as a plural noun to refer, usually with a figurative or ironic intent, to a collection of people who might be identified in terms of their intellectual inclinations or pretensions." In early 19th century Britain,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge (; 21 October 177225 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic, philosopher, and theologian who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poe ...
coined the term ''clerisy'', the intellectual class responsible for upholding and maintaining the national culture, the secular equivalent of the Anglican clergy. Likewise, in
Tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a title used by East Slavs, East and South Slavs, South Slavic monarchs. The term is derived from the Latin word ''Caesar (title), caesar'', which was intended to mean "emperor" i ...
ist Russia, there arose the '' intelligentsia'' (1860s–70s), who were the
status class The German sociologist Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification that defines a status group (also status class and status estate) as a group of people within a society who can be differentiated by non-economic qualities su ...
of white-collar workers. For Germany, the theologian
Alister McGrath Alister Edgar McGrath (; born 1953) is a Northern Irish theologian, Anglican priest, intellectual historian, scientist, Christian apologist, and public intellectual. He currently holds the Andreas Idreos Professorship in Science and Religion i ...
said that "the emergence of a socially alienated,
theologically Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the ...
literate, antiestablishment lay intelligentsia is one of the more significant phenomena of the social history of Germany in the 1830s". An intellectual class in Europe was socially important, especially to self-styled intellectuals, whose participation in society's arts, politics, journalism, and education—of either
nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
, internationalist, or ethnic sentiment—constitute "vocation of the intellectual". Moreover, some intellectuals were anti-academic, despite universities (the academy) being synonymous with
intellectualism Intellectualism is the mental perspective that emphasizes the use, the development, and the exercise of the intellect; and also identifies the life of the mind of the intellectual person. (Definition) In the field of philosophy, the term ''intell ...
. In France, the
Dreyfus affair The Dreyfus affair (french: affaire Dreyfus, ) was a political scandal that divided the French Third Republic from 1894 until its resolution in 1906. "L'Affaire", as it is known in French, has come to symbolise modern injustice in the Francop ...
(1894–1906), an identity crisis of
anti-semitic Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is considered to be a form of racism. Antis ...
nationalism for the
French Third Republic The French Third Republic (french: Troisième République, sometimes written as ) was the system of government adopted in France from 4 September 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 194 ...
(1870–1940), marked the full emergence of the "intellectual in public life", especially
Émile Zola Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (, also , ; 2 April 184029 September 1902) was a French novelist, journalist, playwright, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of ...
,
Octave Mirbeau Octave Mirbeau (16 February 1848 – 16 February 1917) was a French novelist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, journalist and playwright, who achieved celebrity in Europe and great success among the public, whilst still appealing to the l ...
and
Anatole France (; born , ; 16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924) was a French poet, journalist, and novelist with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie França ...
directly addressing the matter of French
antisemitism Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is considered to be a form of racism. Antis ...
to the public; thenceforward, "intellectual" became common, yet initially derogatory, usage; its French noun usage is attributed to
Georges Clemenceau Georges Benjamin Clemenceau (, also , ; 28 September 1841 – 24 November 1929) was a French statesman who served as Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909 and again from 1917 until 1920. A key figure of the Independent Radicals, he was a ...
in 1898. Nevertheless, by 1930 the term "intellectual" passed from its earlier pejorative associations and restricted usages to a widely accepted term and it was because of the Dreyfus Affair that the term also acquired generally accepted use in English. In the 20th century, the term intellectual acquired positive connotations of
social prestige The reputation of a social entity (a person, a social group, an organization, or a place) is an opinion about that entity typically as a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria, such as behavior or performance. Reputation is a ubiquitous ...
, derived from possessing
intellect In the study of the human mind, intellect refers to, describes, and identifies the ability of the human mind to reach correct conclusions about what is true and what is false in reality; and how to solve problems. Derived from the Ancient Gre ...
and
intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. More generally, it can be d ...
, especially when the intellectual's activities exerted positive consequences in the
public sphere The public sphere (german: Öffentlichkeit) is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. A "Public" is "of or concerning th ...
and so increased the intellectual understanding of the public, by means of
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim. A ...
responsibility,
altruism Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for the welfare and/or happiness of other human beings or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core as ...
, and
solidarity ''Solidarity'' is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes. It is based on class collaboration.''Merriam Webster'', http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictio ...
, without resorting to the manipulations of
demagoguery A demagogue (from Greek , a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from , people, populace, the commons + leading, leader) or rabble-rouser is a political leader in a democracy who gains popularity by arousing the common people against elites, e ...
,
paternalism Paternalism is action that limits a person's or group's liberty or autonomy and is intended to promote their own good. Paternalism can also imply that the behavior is against or regardless of the will of a person, or also that the behavior expres ...
and
incivility Incivility is a general term for social behaviour lacking in civility or good manners, on a scale from rudeness or lack of respect for elders, to vandalism and hooliganism, through public drunkenness and threatening behaviour. The word "incivili ...
(condescension). The sociologist
Frank Furedi Frank Furedi ( hu, Füredi Ferenc; born 3 May 1947) is a Hungarian-Canadian academic and emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent. He is well known for his work on sociology of fear, education, therapy culture, paranoid parent ...
said that "Intellectuals are not defined according to the jobs they do, but ythe manner in which they act, the way they see themselves, and the ocial and politicalvalues that they uphold. According to
Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell (; born June 30, 1930) is an American author, economist, political commentator and academic who is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. With widely published commentary and books—and as a guest on TV and radio—he beca ...
, as a descriptive term of person, personality, and profession, the word ''intellectual'' identifies three traits: # Educated; erudition for developing theories; # Productive; creates
cultural capital In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech, style of dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a stratified society. Cultural capital functions as a social relati ...
in the fields of philosophy,
literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of literature's goals and methods. Th ...
, and
sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of empirical investigation and ...
, law, medicine, and science, etc.; and #
Artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse refers to a practitioner in the visual arts only. However, the ...
ic; creates art in
literature Literature is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to include ...
,
music Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Exact definitions of music vary considerably around the world, though it is an aspect ...
,
painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and ai ...
,
sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the three-dimensional art work which is physically presented in the dimensions of height, width and depth. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sc ...
, etc.


Historical uses

In
Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through the power of the ...
, at least starting from the
Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the Early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the ...
, intellectuals could be called ''litterati'', a term which is sometimes applied today. The word intellectual is found in Indian scripture
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' ( ; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India in Hinduism, the other being the ''Rāmāyaṇa''. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kuruk ...
in the Bachelorette meeting (Swayamvara Sava) of
Draupadi Draupadi ( sa, द्रौपदी, draupadī, Daughter of Drupada), also referred to as Krishnaa, Panchali, and Yagyaseni, is the main female protagonist of the Hindu epic ''Mahabharata,'' and the common consort of the five Pandava brother ...
. Immediately after
Arjuna Arjuna (Sanskrit: अर्जुन, ), also known as Partha and Dhananjaya, is a character in several ancient Hinduism, Hindu texts, and specifically one of the major characters of the Indian epic Mahabharata. In the epic, he is the third a ...
and Raja-Maharaja (kings-emperors) came to the meeting, ''Nipuna Buddhijibina (perfect intellectuals)'' appeared at the meeting. In
Imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the reign of king Wu Ding. Ancient historical texts such as the ''Book of Documents'' (early chapter ...
in the period from 206 BC until AD 1912, the intellectuals were the ''
Scholar-official The scholar-officials, also known as literati, scholar-gentlemen or scholar-bureaucrats (), were government officials and prestigious scholars in Chinese society, forming a distinct social class. Scholar-officials were politicians and governmen ...
s'' ("Scholar-gentlemen"), who were civil servants appointed by the
Emperor of China ''Huangdi'' (), translated into English as Emperor, was the superlative title held by monarchs of China who ruled various imperial regimes in Chinese history. In traditional Chinese political theory, the emperor was considered the Son of Heaven ...
to perform the tasks of daily governance. Such civil servants earned academic degrees by means of
imperial examination The imperial examination (; lit. "subject recommendation") refers to a civil-service examination system in Imperial China, administered for the purpose of selecting candidates for the state bureaucracy. The concept of choosing bureaucrats by ...
, and were often also skilled calligraphers or Confucian philosophers. Historian Wing-Tsit Chan concludes that: In
Joseon Korea Joseon (; ; Middle Korean: 됴ᇢ〯션〮 Dyǒw syéon or 됴ᇢ〯션〯 Dyǒw syěon), officially the Great Joseon (; ), was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea, lasting just over 500 years. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye in July 1392 and re ...
(1392–1910), the intellectuals were the ''literati'', who knew how to read and write, and had been designated, as the
chungin The ''jungin'' or ''chungin'' () were the upper middle class of the Joseon Dynasty in medieval and early modern Korean society. The name "jungin" directly means "middle people". This privileged class of commoners consisted of a small group of p ...
(the "middle people"), in accordance with the Confucian system. Socially, they constituted the
petite bourgeoisie ''Petite bourgeoisie'' (, literally 'small bourgeoisie'; also anglicised as petty bourgeoisie) is a French term that refers to a social class composed of semi-autonomous peasants and small-scale merchants whose politico-economic ideological st ...
, composed of scholar-bureaucrats (scholars, professionals, and technicians) who administered the dynastic rule of the Joseon dynasty.


Public intellectual

The term ''public intellectual'' describes the intellectual participating in the public-affairs
discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation to any form of communication. Discourse is a major topic in social theory, with work spanning fields such as sociology, anthropology, continental philosophy, and discourse analysis. ...
of society, in addition to an academic career. Regardless of their
academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning (and generally also research or honorary membership). The name traces back to Plato's school of philosophy, ...
field or the
profession A profession is a field of work that has been successfully '' professionalized''. It can be defined as a disciplined group of individuals, ''professionals'', who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by ...
al expertise, the public intellectual addresses and responds to the
normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good, desirable, or permissible, and others as bad, undesirable, or impermissible. A norm in ...
problems of society, and, as such, is expected to be an impartial critic who can "rise above the partial preoccupation of one's own profession—and engage with the global issues of
truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to represent reality or otherwise correspond to it, such as beliefs, ...
, judgment, and
taste The gustatory system or sense of taste is the sensory system that is partially responsible for the perception of taste (flavor). Taste is the perception produced or stimulated when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste receptor ...
of the time". In ''Representations of the Intellectual'' (1994),
Edward Saïd Edward Wadie Said (; , ; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a Palestinian-American professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies.Robert Young, ''Whit ...
said that the "true intellectual is, therefore, always an outsider, living in self-imposed exile, and on the margins of society". Public intellectuals usually arise from the educated élite of a society; although the North American usage of the term ''intellectual'' includes the university academics. The difference between ''intellectual'' and ''academic'' is participation in the realm of public affairs.
Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (, ; ; born 18 June 1929) is a German social theorist in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. His work addresses communicative rationality and the public sphere. Associated with the Frankfurt School, Habermas's wo ...
' ''Structural Transformation of Public Sphere'' (1963) made significant contribution to the notion of public intellectual by historically and conceptually delineating the idea of private and public. Controversial, in the same year, was
Ralf Dahrendorf Ralf Gustav Dahrendorf, Baron Dahrendorf, (1 May 1929 – 17 June 2009) was a German-British sociologist, philosopher, political scientist and liberal politician. A class conflict theorist, Dahrendorf was a leading expert on explaining and a ...
's definition: “As the court-
jester A jester, court jester, fool or joker was a member of the household of a nobleman or a monarch employed to entertain guests during the medieval and Renaissance eras. Jesters were also itinerant performers who entertained common folk at fairs and ...
s of modern society, all intellectuals have the duty to doubt everything that is obvious, to make relative all authority, to ask all those questions that no one else dares to ask". An intellectual usually is associated with an
ideology An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied prim ...
or with a
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some s ...
. The Czech intellectual
Václav Havel Václav Havel (; 5 October 193618 December 2011) was a Czech statesman, author, poet, playwright, and former dissident. Havel served as the last president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992 and then as ...
said that politics and intellectuals can be linked, but that moral responsibility for the intellectual's ideas, even when advocated by a politician, remains with the intellectual. Therefore, it is best to avoid
utopia A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its members. It was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book ''Utopia'', describing a fictional island societ ...
n intellectuals who offer 'universal insights' to resolve the problems of
political economy Political economy is the study of how economic systems (e.g. markets and national economies) and political systems (e.g. law, institutions, government) are linked. Widely studied phenomena within the discipline are systems such as labour m ...
with
public policies Public policy is an institutionalized proposal or a decided set of elements like laws, regulations, guidelines, and actions to solve or address relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and often implemented by programs. Public ...
that might harm and that have harmed civil society; that intellectuals be mindful of the social and cultural ties created with their words, insights and ideas; and should be heard as social critics of
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studie ...
and
power Power most often refers to: * Power (physics), meaning "rate of doing work" ** Engine power, the power put out by an engine ** Electric power * Power (social and political), the ability to influence people or events ** Abusive power Power may ...
.


Public engagement

The determining factor for ''a Thinker'' (historian, philosopher, scientist, writer, artist) to be considered a public intellectual is the degree to which he or she is implicated and
engaged An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between the declaration of acceptance of a marriage proposal and the marriage itself (which is typically but not always commenced with a wedding). During this period, a couple is said to be ''fi ...
with the vital reality of the contemporary world, i.e. participation in the public affairs of society. Consequently, being designated as a public intellectual is determined by the degree of influence of the designator's
motivation Motivation is the reason for which humans and other animals initiate, continue, or terminate a behavior at a given time. Motivational states are commonly understood as forces acting within the agent that create a disposition to engage in goal-dire ...
s, opinions, and options of action (social, political, ideological), and by affinity with the given thinker. After the failure of the large-scale
May 68 Beginning in May 1968, a period of civil unrest occurred throughout France, lasting some seven weeks and punctuated by demonstrations, general strikes, as well as the occupation of universities and factories. At the height of events, which h ...
movement in France, intellectuals within the country were often maligned for having specific areas of expertise while discussing general subjects like democracy. Intellectuals increasingly claimed to be within marginalized groups rather than their spokespeople, and centered their activism on the social problems relevant to their areas of expertise (such as gender relations in the case of psychologists). A similar shift occurred in China after the
Tiananmen Square Massacre The Tiananmen Square protests, known in Chinese as the June Fourth Incident (), were student-led demonstrations held in Tiananmen Square, Beijing during 1989. In what is known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, or in Chinese the June Fourt ...
from the "universal intellectual" (who plans better futures from within academia) to ''minjian'' ("grassroots") intellectuals, the latter group represented by such figures as Wang Xiaobo, social scientist
Yu Jianrong Yu Jianrong (, born 1962) is a Chinese sociologist who researches rural development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In 2011, he started a microblog account for Internet users to post pictures of children begging in cities to help conne ...
, and ''
Yanhuang Chunqiu ''Yanhuang Chunqiu'' (), sometimes translated as ''China Through the Ages'', was a monthly journal in the People's Republic of China commonly identified as liberal and reformist. It was started in 1991, with the support of Xiao Ke, a liberal gener ...
'' editor Ding Dong.


Public policy

In the matters of
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal or a decided set of elements like laws, regulations, guidelines, and actions to solve or address relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and often implemented by programs. Public ...
, the public intellectual connects scholarly research to the practical matters of solving societal problems. The British sociologist
Michael Burawoy Michael Burawoy (born 15 June 1947) is a sociologist working within Marxist social theory, best known as the leading proponent of public sociology and the author of '' Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalis ...
, an exponent of
public sociology Public sociology is a subfield of the wider sociological discipline that emphasizes expanding the disciplinary boundaries of sociology in order to engage with non-academic audiences. It is perhaps best understood as a ''style'' of sociology rath ...
, said that professional sociology has failed, by giving insufficient attention to resolving social problems, and that a dialogue between the academic and the layman would bridge the gap. An example is how
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
an intellectuals worked to reestablish
democracy Democracy (From grc, δημοκρατία, dēmokratía, ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation (" direct democracy"), or to choose go ...
within the
right-wing Right-wing politics describes the range of political ideologies that view certain social orders and hierarchies as inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, authori ...
,
neoliberal Neoliberalism (also neo-liberalism) is a term used to signify the late 20th century political reappearance of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism after it fell into decline following the Second World War. A prominent fa ...
governments of the
Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–90) A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
, the Pinochet régime allowed professional opportunities for some liberal and left-wing social scientists to work as politicians and as consultants in effort to realize the theoretical economics of the
Chicago Boys The Chicago Boys were a group of Chilean economists prominent around the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of whom were educated at the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger, or at its affiliat ...
, but their access to
power Power most often refers to: * Power (physics), meaning "rate of doing work" ** Engine power, the power put out by an engine ** Electric power * Power (social and political), the ability to influence people or events ** Abusive power Power may ...
was contingent upon political
pragmatism Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving, and action, and rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Pr ...
, abandoning the political neutrality of the academic intellectual. In ''
The Sociological Imagination ''The Sociological Imagination'' is a 1959 book by American sociologist C. Wright Mills published by Oxford University Press. In it, he develops the idea of sociological imagination, the means by which the relation between self and society can ...
'' (1959),
C. Wright Mills Charles Wright Mills (August 28, 1916 – March 20, 1962) was an American sociologist, and a professor of sociology at Columbia University from 1946 until his death in 1962. Mills published widely in both popular and intellectual journals, and i ...
said that academics had become ill-equipped for participating in public discourse, and that journalists usually are "more politically alert and knowledgeable than sociologists, economists, and especially ... political scientists". That, because the universities of the U.S. are bureaucratic, private businesses, they "do not teach critical reasoning to the student", who then does not know "how to gauge what is going on in the general struggle for power in modern society". Likewise,
Richard Rorty Richard McKay Rorty (October 4, 1931 – June 8, 2007) was an American philosopher. Educated at the University of Chicago and Yale University, he had strong interests and training in both the history of philosophy and in contemporary analytic ph ...
criticized the participation of intellectuals in public discourse as an example of the "civic irresponsibility of
intellect In the study of the human mind, intellect refers to, describes, and identifies the ability of the human mind to reach correct conclusions about what is true and what is false in reality; and how to solve problems. Derived from the Ancient Gre ...
, especially academic intellect". The American legal scholar
Richard Posner Richard Allen Posner (; born January 11, 1939) is an American jurist and legal scholar who served as a federal appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1981 to 2017. A senior lecturer at the University of Chicago ...
said that the participation of academic public intellectuals in the public life of society is characterized by logically untidy and politically biased statements of the kind that would be unacceptable to academia. That there are few ideologically and politically independent public intellectuals, and disapproves that public intellectuals limit themselves to practical matters of public policy, and not with
values In ethics and social sciences, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining which actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics in ethics), or to describe the significance of dif ...
or public philosophy, or public
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns m ...
, or public theology, not with matters of moral and spiritual outrage.


Intellectual status class

Socially, intellectuals constitute the intelligentsia, a
status class The German sociologist Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification that defines a status group (also status class and status estate) as a group of people within a society who can be differentiated by non-economic qualities su ...
organised either by
ideology An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied prim ...
(i.e.
conservatism Conservatism is a cultural, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the culture and civilization in ...
,
fascism Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultra-nationalist political ideology and movement,: "extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and th ...
,
socialism Socialism is a left-wing economic philosophy and movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. As a term, it describes the e ...
,
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics * a supporter of liberalism ** Liberalism by country * an adherent of a Liberal Party * Liberalism (international relations) * Sexually liberal feminism * Social liberalism Arts, entertainment and ...
,
reactionary In political science, a reactionary or a reactionist is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the '' status quo ante'', the previous political state of society, which that person believes possessed positive characteristics abs ...
,
revolution In political science, a revolution (Latin: ''revolutio'', "a turn around") is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due ...
ary, democratic, communism), or by nationality (American intellectuals, French intellectuals, Ibero–American intellectuals, ''et al.''). The term ''intelligentsiya'' originated from the of Tsarist Russia (–1870s), where it denotes the
social stratum Social stratification refers to a society's categorization of its people into groups based on socioeconomic factors like wealth, income, race, education, ethnicity, gender, occupation, social status, or derived power (social and political). As ...
of those possessing intellectual formation (schooling, education), and who were Russian society's counterpart to the German ''
Bildungsbürgertum ''Bildungsbürgertum'' () is a social class that emerged in mid-18th-century Germany, as the educated social stratum of the bourgeoisie, men and women who had received an education based upon the metaphysical values of Idealism and Classical stud ...
'' and to the French ''bourgeoisie éclairée'', the enlightened middle classes of those realms.Williams, Raymond. ''Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society'' (1983) In
Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Marxism, which drew fr ...
, the
social class A social class is a grouping of people into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes. Membership in a social class can for example be dependent on education, wealth, occupation, incom ...
function of the intellectuals (the intelligentsia) is to be the source of progressive ideas for the transformation of society: providing advice and counsel to the political leaders, interpreting the country's politics to the mass of the population (urban workers and peasants). In the pamphlet ''
What Is to Be Done? ''What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement'' is a political pamphlet written by Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin (credited as N. Lenin) in 1901 and published in 1902. Lenin said that the article represented "a skeleton plan t ...
'' (1902),
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 19 ...
(1870–1924) said that vanguard-party revolution required the participation of the intellectuals to explain the complexities of socialist ideology to the uneducated
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marxist philo ...
and the urban industrial workers in order to integrate them to the revolution because "the history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own efforts, is able to develop only
trade-union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment", ch. I such as attaining better wages and benefits (s ...
consciousness" and will settle for the limited, socio-economic gains so achieved. In Russia as in
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent, – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and, b ...
, socialist theory was the product of the "educated representatives of the propertied classes", of "revolutionary socialist intellectuals", such as were Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
György Lukács György Lukács (born György Bernát Löwinger; hu, szegedi Lukács György Bernát; german: Georg Bernard Baron Lukács von Szegedin; 13 April 1885 – 4 June 1971) was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher, literary historian, critic, and aest ...
(1885–1971) identified the intelligentsia as the privileged social class who provide revolutionary leadership. By means of intelligible and accessible interpretation, the intellectuals explain to the workers and peasants the "Who?", the "How?" and the "Why?" of the social, economic and political ''
status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly with regard to social, political, religious or military issues. In the sociological sense, the ''status quo'' refers to the current state of social structure and/or values. ...
''—the ideological totality of society—and its practical, revolutionary application to the transformation of their society. The Italian communist theoretician
Antonio Gramsci Antonio Francesco Gramsci ( , , ; 22 January 1891 – 27 April 1937) was an Italian Marxist philosopher, journalist, linguist, writer, and politician. He wrote on philosophy, political theory, sociology, history, and linguistics. He was a fo ...
(1891–1937) developed
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, critic of political economy, and socialist revolutionary. His best-known titles are the 1848 ...
's conception of the intelligentsia to include political leadership in the public sphere. That because "all knowledge is existentially-based", the intellectuals, who create and preserve knowledge, are "spokesmen for different social groups, and articulate particular social interests". That intellectuals occur in each social class and throughout the
right-wing Right-wing politics describes the range of political ideologies that view certain social orders and hierarchies as inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, authori ...
, the centre and the
left-wing Left-wing politics describes the range of Ideology#Political%20ideologies, political ideologies that support and seek to achieve social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically in ...
of the
political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different political positions in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions. The expressions politi ...
and that as a social class the "intellectuals view themselves as autonomous from the
ruling class In sociology, the ruling class of a society is the social class who set and decide the political and economic agenda of society. In Marxist philosophy, the ruling class are the capitalist social class who own the means of production and by exten ...
" of their society. Addressing their role as a social class,
Jean-Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, ; ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism (and phenomenology), a French playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and litera ...
said that intellectuals are the moral conscience of their age; that their moral and ethical responsibilities are to observe the socio-political moment, and to freely speak to their society, in accordance with their consciences. The British historian
Norman Stone Norman Stone (8 March 1941 – 19 June 2019) was a British historian and author. He was Professor of European History in the Department of International Relations at Bilkent University, having formerly been a professor at the University of ...
said that the intellectual
social class A social class is a grouping of people into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes. Membership in a social class can for example be dependent on education, wealth, occupation, incom ...
misunderstand the reality of society and so are doomed to the errors of
logical fallacy In philosophy, a formal fallacy, deductive fallacy, logical fallacy or non sequitur (; Latin for " tdoes not follow") is a pattern of reasoning rendered invalid by a flaw in its logical structure that can neatly be expressed in a standard logic syst ...
, ideological stupidity, and poor planning hampered by ideology. In her memoirs, the
Conservative Conservatism is a cultural, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the culture and civilization ...
politician Margaret Thatcher wrote that the anti-monarchical
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended with the formation of the French Consulate in November 1799. Many of its ideas are consider ...
(1789–1799) was "a
utopia A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its members. It was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book ''Utopia'', describing a fictional island societ ...
n attempt to overthrow a traditional order ..in the name of abstract ideas, formulated by vain intellectuals".


Latin America

The American academic Peter H. Smith describes the intellectuals of Latin America as people from an identifiable social class, who have been conditioned by that common experience and thus are inclined to share a set of common assumptions (values and ethics); that ninety-four per cent of intellectuals come either from the
middle class The middle class refers to a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy, often defined by occupation, income, education, or social status. The term has historically been associated with modernity, capitalism and political debate. Co ...
or from the
upper class Upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the wealthiest members of class society, and wield the greatest political power. According to this view, the upper class is ge ...
and that only six per cent come from the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also " Designation of workers by collar colo ...
. Philosopher Steven Fuller said that because
cultural capital In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech, style of dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a stratified society. Cultural capital functions as a social relati ...
confers
power Power most often refers to: * Power (physics), meaning "rate of doing work" ** Engine power, the power put out by an engine ** Electric power * Power (social and political), the ability to influence people or events ** Abusive power Power may ...
and social status as a status group they must be autonomous in order to be credible as intellectuals:


United States

The 19th-century U.S.
Congregational Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches or Congregationalism) are Protestant churches in the Calvinist tradition practising congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs it ...
theologian
Edwards Amasa Park Edwards Amasa Park (December 29, 1808June 4, 1900) was an American Congregational theologian. Biography Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Park was the son of Calvin Park (1774-1847) (a Congregational minister who was a professor from 1804 to 182 ...
said: "We do wrong to our own minds, when we carry out scientific difficulties down to the arena of popular dissension". In his view, it was necessary for the sake of social, economic and political stability "to separate the serious, technical role of professionals from their responsibility orsupplying usable philosophies for the general public". This expresses a dichotomy, derived from Plato, between public knowledge and private knowledge, "civic culture" and "professional culture", the intellectual sphere of life and the life of ordinary people in society. In the United States, members of the intellectual status class have been
demographic Demography () is the statistical study of populations, especially human beings. Demographic analysis examines and measures the dimensions and dynamics of populations; it can cover whole societies or groups defined by criteria such as ed ...
ally characterized as people who hold
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics * a supporter of liberalism ** Liberalism by country * an adherent of a Liberal Party * Liberalism (international relations) * Sexually liberal feminism * Social liberalism Arts, entertainment and ...
-to-
leftist Left-wing politics describes the range of political ideologies that support and seek to achieve social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically involve a concern for those in soc ...
political perspectives about guns-or-butter
fiscal policy In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection (taxes or tax cuts) and expenditure to influence a country's economy. The use of government revenue expenditures to influence macroeconomic variables ...
. In "The Intellectuals and Socialism" (1949),
Friedrich Hayek Friedrich August von Hayek ( , ; 8 May 189923 March 1992), often referred to by his initials F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian–British economist, legal theorist and philosopher who is best known for his defense of classical liberalism. Haye ...
wrote that "journalists, teachers, ministers, lecturers, publicists, radio commentators, writers of fiction, cartoonists, and artists" form an intellectual social class whose function is to communicate the complex and specialized knowledge of the
scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of the natural sciences. In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, philosophers engaged in the philosoph ...
to the general public. He argued that intellectuals were attracted to
socialism Socialism is a left-wing economic philosophy and movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. As a term, it describes the e ...
or
social democracy Social democracy is a political, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that supports political and economic democracy. As a policy regime, it is described by academics as advocating economic and social interventions to promote soc ...
because the socialists offered "broad visions; the spacious comprehension of the social order, as a whole, which a planned system promises" and that such broad-vision philosophies "succeeded in inspiring the imagination of the intellectuals" to change and improve their societies. According to Hayek, intellectuals disproportionately support socialism for idealistic and utopian reasons that cannot be realized in practice.


Persecution of intellectuals

Totalitarian governments manipulate and apply
anti-intellectualism Anti-intellectualism is hostility to and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectualism, commonly expressed as deprecation of education and philosophy and the dismissal of art, literature, and science as impractical, politically mot ...
to repress political dissent. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and the following dictatorship (1939–1975) of General Francisco Franco, the reactionary repression of the White Terror (1936–1945) was notably anti-intellectual, with most of the 200,000 civilians killed being the Spanish intelligentsia, the politically active teachers and academics, artists and writers of the deposed Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939). Intellectuals were also targeted by the Nazis, the communist regime in China, in
communist Romania The Socialist Republic of Romania ( ro, Republica Socialistă România, RSR) was a Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state that existed officially in Romania from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian Peopl ...
by the
Romanian Communist Party The Romanian Communist Party ( ro, Partidul Comunist Român, , PCR) was a communist party in Romania. The successor to the pro-Bolshevik wing of the Socialist Party of Romania, it gave ideological endorsement to a communist revolution that woul ...
(PCR) and the
Securitate The Securitate (, Romanian for ''security'') was the popular term for the Departamentul Securității Statului (Department of State Security), the secret police agency of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Previously, before the communist regi ...
, the Khmer Rouge, the Young Turks, and in conflicts in Bangladesh, the former Yugoslavia, and Poland.


Criticism

The French philosopher
Jean-Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, ; ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism (and phenomenology), a French playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and litera ...
noted that "the Intellectual is someone who meddles in what does not concern them" (''L'intellectuel est quelqu'un qui se mêle de ce qui ne le regarde pas'').
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American public intellectual: a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky i ...
expressed the view that "intellectuals are specialists in
defamation Defamation is the act of communicating to a third party false statements about a person, place or thing that results in damage to its reputation. It can be spoken (slander) or written (libel). It constitutes a tort or a crime. The legal defin ...
, they are basically political commissars, they are the ideological administrators, the most threatened by dissidence." In the article " The Responsibility of Intellectuals", Chomsky analyzes the intellectual culture in the U.S., and argues that it is largely subservient to
power Power most often refers to: * Power (physics), meaning "rate of doing work" ** Engine power, the power put out by an engine ** Electric power * Power (social and political), the ability to influence people or events ** Abusive power Power may ...
. He is particularly critical of
social scientist Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the original "science of socie ...
s and technocrats, who provide a
pseudo-scientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claim ...
justification for the crimes of the state. In "An Interview with Milton Friedman" (1974), the American economist Milton Friedman said that
businessmen A businessperson, businessman, or businesswoman is an individual who has Organizational founder, founded, ownership, owns, or Shareholder, holds shares in (including as an angel investor) a private-sector company. A businessperson undertakes ...
and intellectuals are enemies of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, private pr ...
: most intellectuals believed in socialism while businessmen expected economic privileges. In his essay "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?" (1998), the American
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core value. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, and minimize the state's enc ...
philosopher
Robert Nozick Robert Nozick (; November 16, 1938 – January 23, 2002) was an American philosopher. He held the Joseph Pellegrino University Professorship at Harvard University,
of the
Cato Institute The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Koch Industries.Koch Indus ...
argued that intellectuals become embittered leftists because their superior intellectual work, much rewarded at school and at university, are undervalued and underpaid in the capitalist
market economy A market economy is an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production and distribution to the consumers are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand, where all suppliers and consumers are ...
. Thus, intellectuals turn against capitalism despite enjoying more socioeconomic status than the average person. The economist
Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell (; born June 30, 1930) is an American author, economist, political commentator and academic who is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. With widely published commentary and books—and as a guest on TV and radio—he beca ...
wrote in his book '' Intellectuals and Society'' (2010) that intellectuals, who are producers of knowledge, not material goods, tend to speak outside their own areas of expertise, and yet expect social and professional benefits from the
halo effect The halo effect (sometimes called the halo error) is the tendency for positive impressions of a person, company, brand, or product in one area to positively influence one's opinion or feelings in other areas. Halo effect is “the name given to t ...
derived from possessing professional expertise. In relation to other professions, public intellectuals are socially detached from the negative and
unintended consequences In the social sciences, unintended consequences (sometimes unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences) are outcomes of a purposeful action that are not intended or foreseen. The term was popularised in the twentieth century by Ameri ...
of
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal or a decided set of elements like laws, regulations, guidelines, and actions to solve or address relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and often implemented by programs. Public ...
derived from their ideas. Sowell gives the example of
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
(1872–1970), who advised the British government against national rearmament in the years before the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposing ...
.


References


Bibliography

* Aron, Raymond (1962) ''The Opium of the Intellectuals.'' New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. * Basov, Nikita ''et al''. (2010). ''The Intellectual: A Phenomenon in Multidimensional Perspectives''
Inter-Disciplinary Press
* Bates, David, ed., (2007). ''Marxism, Intellectuals and Politics.'' London: Palgrave. * Benchimol, Alex. (2016) ''Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period: Scottish Whigs, English Radicals and the Making of the British Public Sphere'' (London: Routledge). * Benda, Julien (2003). ''The Treason of the Intellectuals.'' New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. * Camp, Roderic (1985). ''Intellectuals and the State in Twentieth-Century Mexico.'' Austin: University of Texas Press. * Coleman, Peter (2010) ''The Last Intellectuals.'' Sydney: Quadrant Books. * Di Leo, Jeffrey R., and Peter Hitchcock, eds. (2016) ''The New Public Intellectual: Politics, Theory, and the Public Sphere''. (Springer). * Finkielkraut, Alain (1995). ''The Defeat of the Mind.'' Columbia University Press. * Gella, Aleksander, Ed., (1976). ''The Intelligentsia and the Intellectuals.'' California: Sage Publication. * Gouldner, Alvin W. (1979)
''The Future of the Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class.''
New York: The Seabury Press. * Gross, John (1969). ''The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters''. New York: Macmillan. * Huszar, George B. de, ed., (1960). ''The Intellectuals: A Controversial Portrait''. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press. Anthology with many contributors. * Johnson, Paul (1990). ''Intellectuals''. New York: Harper Perennial . Highly ideological criticisms of
Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revol ...
, Shelley,
Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, critic of political economy, and socialist revolutionary. His best-known titles are the 1848 ...
,
Ibsen Henrik Johan Ibsen (; ; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential play ...
,
Tolstoy Count Lev Nikolayevich TolstoyTolstoy pronounced his first name as , which corresponds to the romanization ''Lyov''. () (; russian: link=no, Лев Николаевич Толстой,In Tolstoy's day, his name was written as in pre-refor ...
,
Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century ...
,
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
,
Brecht Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956), known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was a German theatre practitioner, playwright, and poet. Coming of age during the Weimar Republic, he had his first successes as a p ...
,
Sartre Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, ; ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism (and phenomenology), a French playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and liter ...
,
Edmund Wilson Edmund Wilson Jr. (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer and literary critic who explored Freudian and Marxist themes. He influenced many American authors, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose unfinished work he edited for publi ...
,
Victor Gollancz Sir Victor Gollancz (; 9 April 1893 – 8 February 1967) was a British publisher and humanitarian. Gollancz was known as a supporter of left-wing causes. His loyalties shifted between liberalism and communism, but he defined himself as a Chris ...
,
Lillian Hellman Lillian Florence Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) was an American playwright, prose writer, memoirist and screenwriter known for her success on Broadway, as well as her communist sympathies and political activism. She was blacklisted af ...
,
Cyril Connolly Cyril Vernon Connolly CBE (10 September 1903 – 26 November 1974) was an English literary critic and writer. He was the editor of the influential literary magazine ''Horizon'' (1940–49) and wrote ''Enemies of Promise'' (1938), which combine ...
,
Norman Mailer Nachem Malech Mailer (January 31, 1923 – November 10, 2007), known by his pen name Norman Kingsley Mailer, was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, activist, filmmaker and actor. In a career spanning over six decades, Mailer ...
,
James Baldwin James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American writer. He garnered acclaim across various media, including essays, novels, plays, and poems. His first novel, '' Go Tell It on the Mountain'', was published in 1953; d ...
,
Kenneth Tynan Kenneth Peacock Tynan (2 April 1927 – 26 July 1980) was an English theatre critic and writer. Making his initial impact as a critic at ''The Observer'', he praised Osborne's ''Look Back in Anger'' (1956), and encouraged the emerging wave of ...
,
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American public intellectual: a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky i ...
, and others. * Kennedy, Michael D. (2015). ''Globalizing knowledge: Intellectuals, universities and publics in transformation'' (Stanford University Press). 424p
online review
* Konrad, George ''et al''. (1979). ''The Intellectuals On The Road To Class Power.'' Sussex: Harvester Press. * Lasch, Christopher (1997). ''The New Radicalism in America, 1889–1963: The Intellectual as a Social Type.'' New York: W.W. Norton & Co. * Lemert, Charles (1991). ''Intellectuals and Politics.'' Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications. * McCaughan, Michael (2000). ''True Crime: Rodolfo Walsh and the Role of the Intellectual in Latin American Politics.'' Latin America Bureau . * Michael, John (2000). ''Anxious Intellects: Academic Professionals, Public Intellectuals, and Enlightenment Values.'' Duke University Press. * Misztal, Barbara A. (2007). ''Intellectuals and the Public Good.'' Cambridge University Press. * Molnar, Thomas (1961)
''The Decline of the Intellectual.''
Cleveland: The World Publishing Company. * Piereson, James (2006)

''The New Criterion'', Vol. XXV, p. 52. * Posner, Richard A. (2002). ''Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline.'' Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press . * Rieff, Philip, Ed., (1969)
''On Intellectuals''
New York: Doubleday & Co. * Sawyer, S., and Iain Stewart, eds. (2016) ''In Search of the Liberal Moment: Democracy, Anti-totalitarianism, and Intellectual Politics in France since 1950'' (Springer). * Showalter, Elaine (2001). ''Inventing Herself: Claiming A Feminist Intellectual Heritage.'' London: Picador. * Viereck, Peter (1953). ''Shame and Glory of the Intellectuals.'' Boston: Beacon Press.


Further reading

* Aczél, Tamás & Méray, Tibor. (1959) ''The Revolt of the Mind.'' New York: Frederick A. Praeger. * Barzun, Jacques (1959). ''The House of Intellect''. New York: Harper. * Berman, Paul (2010). ''The Flight of the Intellectuals.'' New York: Melville House. * Carey, John (2005). ''The Intellectuals And The Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880–1939.'' Chicago Review Press. *
Chomsky, Noam Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American public intellectual: a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky i ...
(1968). "The Responsibility of Intellectuals." In: ''The Dissenting Academy'', ed. Theolord Roszak. New York: Pantheon Books, pp. 254–298. * Grayling, A.C. (2013)
"Do Public Intellectuals Matter?,"
''Prospect Magazine,'' No. 206. * Hamburger, Joseph (1966). ''Intellectuals in Politics.'' New Haven: Yale University Press. * Hayek, F.A. (1949). "The Intellectuals and Socialism," ''The University of Chicago Law Review,'' Vol. XVI, No. 3, pp. 417–433. * Huizinga, Johan (1936). ''In the Shadows of Tomorrow.'' New York: W.W. Norton & Company. * Kidder, David S., Oppenheim, Noah D., (2006). '' The Intellectual Devotional.'' Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Books . * Laruelle, François (2014). ''Intellectuals and Power.'' Cambridge: Polity Press. * Lilla, Mark (2003). ''The Reckless Mind – Intellectuals in Politics.'' New York: New York Review Books. * Lukacs, John A. (1958). "Intellectuals, Catholics, and the Intellectual Life," ''Modern Age,'' Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 40–53. * MacDonald, Heather (2001). ''The Burden of Bad Ideas.'' New York: Ivan R. Dee. * Milosz, Czeslaw (1990). '' The Captive Mind.'' New York: Vintage Books. * Molnar, Thomas (1958). "Intellectuals, Experts, and the Classless Society," ''Modern Age,'' Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 33–39. * Moses, A. Dirk (2009) ''German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past.'' Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Rothbard, Murray N. (1989). "World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals," ''The Journal of Libertarian Studies,'' Vol. IX, No. 1, pp. 81–125. * Sapiro, Gisèle. (2014). ''The French Writers' War 1940–1953'' (1999; English edition 2014); highly influential study of intellectuals in the French Resistanc
online review
* Shapiro, J. Salwyn (1920)
"The Revolutionary Intellectual,"
''The Atlantic Monthly,'' Vol. CXXV, pp. 320–330. * Shenfield, Arthur A. (1970). "The Ugly Intellectual," ''The Modern Age'', Vol. XVI, No. 1, pp. 9–14. * Shlapentokh, Vladimir (1990) ''Soviet Intellectuals and Political Power.'' Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. * Shore, Marci (2009). ''Caviar and Ashes.'' New Haven: Yale University Press. * Small, Helen (2002). ''The Public Intellectual.'' Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. * Strunsky, Simeon (1921)
"Intellectuals and Highbrows,"Part II
''Vanity Fair'', Vol. XV, pp. 52, 92. * Whittington-Egan, Richard (2003-08-01). ''"The Vanishing Man of Letters: Part One"''. Contemporary Review. * Whittington-Egan, Richard (2003-10-01). ''"The Vanishing Man of Letters: Part Two"''. Contemporary Review. * Wolin, Richard (2010). ''The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Culture Revolution and the Legacy of the 1960s.'' Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.


External links


The Responsibility of Intellectuals
by
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American public intellectual: a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky i ...
, 23 February 1967. *   classified by profession, discipline, scholastic citations, media affiliation, number of web hits and sex. *
"The Optimist's Book Club"
''The New Haven Advocate''—discussion of public intellectuals in the 21st century. {{authority control 1810s neologisms Academia Intellectual history Lord Byron Occupations and elsewhere Positions of authority Social classes Sociology of culture Stereotypes Thought