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How to Be an Intellectual the Cases of Richard Rorty and Andrew- Jeffrey J. Williams

How to Be an Intellectual the Cases of Richard Rorty and Andrew- Jeffrey J. Williams

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Published by César Eslava
In the Fall 1991 issue of Dissent, Richard
Rorty published an essay called “Intellectuals
in Politics.” It was not a profile of model
figures but something of a jeremiad, castigating
American intellectuals for their disconnection
from politics and standing by while
the rich ripped off the poor. Rorty indicted
two groups in particular, journalists and literature
professors. He charged that journalists
failed the tradition of Lincoln Steffens by not
properly educating the electorate and that
literature professors failed to “remind voters of
their ideals.” They had given up on ordinary
politics; instead they were intent on
internecine pursuits like “advanced literary
theory.”
In the Fall 1991 issue of Dissent, Richard
Rorty published an essay called “Intellectuals
in Politics.” It was not a profile of model
figures but something of a jeremiad, castigating
American intellectuals for their disconnection
from politics and standing by while
the rich ripped off the poor. Rorty indicted
two groups in particular, journalists and literature
professors. He charged that journalists
failed the tradition of Lincoln Steffens by not
properly educating the electorate and that
literature professors failed to “remind voters of
their ideals.” They had given up on ordinary
politics; instead they were intent on
internecine pursuits like “advanced literary
theory.”

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Published by: César Eslava on Apr 13, 2013
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