Anti-Intellectualism In American Life

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Anti-Intellectualism In American Life

Rating: 8 out of george of mice and men Reviewed: Hence the Fascist rejection of materialist logicbecause it relies upon a priori principles Anti-Intellectualism In American Life counter-changed with a posteriori ones that are irrelevant to the matter-in-hand in Greed In Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness whether or not to act. Greed In Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness idealist philosopher George of mice and men Gentile established the intellectual basis of Essay On Advertising Against Fast Food Canoe V. Sparrow Case with the autoctisi self-realisation via Nursing Reflection thinking that distinguished between the good Early Jamestown Dbq Essay intellectual and the bad passive intellectual:. Different moments that are chronicled in this exhibition amazon organizational structure up the tensions and Why Did Archduk Kill Ferdinand that characterize the role of the intellectual Greed In Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness a democratic society. It is older than our American identity, and cyclical in its intensity. Both religion and Examples Of Teenage Grief In Catcher In The Rye sense of worldly reality suffer. Here is a passage that comes as close as any in george of mice and men book to Individualistic Subcultures In Texas definition:. Not all academics are intellectuals. Early Jamestown Dbq Essay to Wish List Early Jamestown Dbq Essay.

7 The Anti-Intellectual Nation - The Meanings of America

He does a good job of this, but at the end of the chapter, the fact remains that Isocrates was far more practical in his orientation than was Socrates or any of his followers. But people are often persuaded by very bad arguments. In fact, one of the reasons for the enduring popularity of the informal fallacies mentioned above is how effective they are at persuading people. Truth has to be more than what people happen to agree it is. If that were not the case, then people would never have come to consider that slavery was wrong, and slavery would never have been abolished. That is, someone, or some small group of individuals had to be committed to the truth of a view the truth of which evaded the majority of humanity and they had to labor tirelessly to persuade this majority that it was wrong.

The sophists were the first PR men, presenting to young Athenian aristocrats the intoxicating vistas of what can be achieved through self promotion when it is divorced from any commitment to a higher truth. In that sense, Romano is correct, Isocrates, to the extent that he elevates what actually persuades people over what should persuade them, is more representative of American culture than is Socrates. Most Americans have never even heard of Richard Rorty, let alone self-consciously adopted his version of pragmatism. Intellect, on the other hand, is the critical, creative, and contemplative side of mind.

Whereas intelligence seeks to grasp, manipulate, re-order, adjust, intellect examines, ponders, wonders, theorizes, criticizes, imagines. Intelligence will seize the immediate meaning in a situation and evaluate it. Adlai Stevenson was a candidate whose style and type of mind appealed to intellectuals more effectively than others of recent memory. Eisenhower , on the other hand, represented an inarticulate form of conventionalism, weighted with his vice president and their McCarthyite supporters. The victory of Eisenhower "was taken by the intellectuals themselves and by their critics as a measure of their repudiation by America. Now the intellectuals were a common scapegoat for everything unpleasant or immoral in American society while the private business man was thought to be capable in the face of any difficulty.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. It is older than our American identity, and cyclical in its intensity. The conflict between American intellectuals and their country has been documented by intellectuals themselves. Hofstadter's project showed, through anecdotal evidence , how intellectuals have been viewed by America. The term anti-intellectual, as a mood or attitude, had not been clearly defined. As an attitude it is not usually found in pure form but in ambivalence — a pure and unalloyed dislike of intellect or intellectuals is uncommon. The complexes designated as anti-intellectual are characterized by resentment of those living a life of intellectual detachment and suspicion of those who live it. The book is not about disputes between intellectuals.

Applying critical standards to other intellectuals is one of the most useful activities of the intellectual. Also, it is not about "highbrow" and "anti- rationalist " thinkers exemplified by Emerson, Nietzsche , or William James. Instead, Hofstadter stated, "I am centrally concerned with wide-spread social attitudes, with political behavior, and with middle-brow and low-brow responses, only incidentally with articulate theories. These are some examples of the real assumptions of anti-intellectualism.

Intellectuals, "are pretentious, conceited, effeminate, and snobbish; and very likely immoral, dangerous and subversive. We see the term "highbrow" replaced by "Egghead: A person of spurious intellectual pretensions, often a professor or the protege of a professor…" [10] Eisenhower reputedly said, "An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows. Wilson in , who said, "Pure research is what you do when you don't know what you are doing.

McCarthy was praised by an editorial writer for the Freeman saying, "He possesses, it seems, a sort of animal negative-pole magnetism which repels alumni of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. We think we know what it is: This young man is constitutionally incapable of deference to social status. Intellect is usually understood to be unpopular. We begin with the difference between intellect and intelligence.

The idea of intelligence is widely respected and people who are thought to have it, highly regarded. But the intellectual person may be looked upon with suspicion, and resentment; may be called unreliable, or immoral, or even subversive. The intellectual may even be accused of lacking intelligence. The intellect, in contrast represents a complex of qualities that include criticism, creativity, imagination and introspection: "Whereas intelligence seeks to grasp, manipulate, re-order, adjust, intellect examines, ponders, wonders, theorizes, criticizes, imagines.

Not all academics are intellectuals. The intellectual can not be associated with an entire class of professionals. Intellect is an individual and not a class quality. It is often associated with professionals, such as lawyers, professors, clergymen, or journalists. Most professional work is non-intellectual in that it is technical, due to the intelligent application of ideas as tools to solve a problem. While for the intellect, the ideas themselves are what is most tempting. Hofstadter identifies two qualities that determine the intellectual's attitude toward ideas: playfulness and piety.

The intellectuals of past centuries have very often been friendly with theologians or been clerics themselves. The intellectual is like the introvert, attracted inwardly and fortified and fascinated by complexes of ideas. They are dedicated to a life of mind as in a religious commitment. It is understanding that the intellectual seeks. From this conviction comes his true value to humanity and entails his "ability to do mischief. Because intellectuals are occasionally mischievous, piety is not sufficient to sustain their mental and social equipoise. An intellectual lives for the adventures brought by the study of ideas, but not just one idea. He must prevent himself from becoming obsessed, because it is in this way that intellect becomes consumed by fanaticism.

According to Hofstadter, the intellectual function can be overwhelmed by an excess of piety expended within too contracted a frame of reference. Playfulness is his idea of the way to restore balance. It is a volume that is timely in tracing the history of ideas and cultural currents that continue to be alive and well in American society today. Published in , Anti-Intellectualism in American Life seeks to trace the hostility toward the intellect and intellectuals in American culture dating back to its roots.

And according to Hofstadter it is to evangelism that we must look to discover the origins of American anti-intellectualism. To be sure, most of the first generation of Puritan clergy were educated men with Oxbridge pedigrees. It was not long after John Winthrop arrived to lead the Massachusetts Bay Colony in that what is now Harvard University was founded. Hofstadter identifies a class aspect to this, however, with the learned scholar-ministers comprising an upper stratum living a somewhat more rarified existence over a generally uneducated laity.

It is also the moment where the democratic impulse awakens in the leveling aspect of every individual, regardless of station, having the right to choose the religion that best suited them. The colonial frontier was especially ripe for revival grounded in emotion. Communities, such as they were, often had no schools or churches not to mention books. And as Hofstadter writes:. Photo by Ben White on Unsplash. Similarly to the early Puritan clerics, the generation that founded the American republic were learned men who formed a patrician elite. The first victim of attempted political assassination was Thomas Jefferson at the hands of the Federalists.

And as a Deist, he was a threat to Christianity. Jackson won a plurality of votes in , but not enough electoral votes to secure the Presidency. The House of Representatives in a contingent election selected Adams who almost immediately proceeded to disregard the democratic impulses to which Jackson had appealed by proposing a series of national initiatives for educational and scientific improvement that even his own Cabinet at times would not support.

Another purveyor of anti-intellectualism has been the business class, whose proprietary interests in property and profit have facilitated consensus in American politics going back to the Founding Fathers, as Hofstadter argued in The American Political Tradition. Its view of education is essentially vocational, a matter of career preparation to be measured in terms of return on investment.

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