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View Full Version : What is a 'Public Intellectual'???



David G
04-19-2018, 12:19 PM
Dedicated to budding Bilge public intellectual, Paul Pless --

Is it even possible to be one, in these days?

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/books/review/is-it-still-possible-to-be-a-public-intellectual.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/01/what-it-means-to-be-a-public-intellectual/282907/

https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/who-is-a-public-intellectual/

TomF
04-19-2018, 12:28 PM
Chomsky, now Peterson. Arguably Gloria Steinem was one, and Betty Friedan, as was Marshall McLuhan. Warhol too.

One has to have actual thoughts, not just speak someone else's. And be in just the right place and time to surprise yourself by riding a wave.

Norman Bernstein
04-19-2018, 12:49 PM
I looking at the names mentioned in those three linked articles, I have to say that my opinion of them all is fairly diminished, these days. It seems that the ones I initially like, and agree with, inevitably get WAY too full of themselves. Krugman, Hedges, Zakaria, Freedman.... all of them strike me as navel-gazers nowadays.

David G
04-19-2018, 12:49 PM
Interesting what Foreign Policy magazine's list looked like nearly a decade ago --

http://foreignpolicy.com/2009/10/07/the-worlds-top-20-public-intellectuals/

ccmanuals
04-19-2018, 12:51 PM
"Fart" going mainstream

David G
04-19-2018, 12:58 PM
A more current list -- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/01/25/the-five-most-important-public-intellectuals-in-america-today/?utm_term=.0f53cdd16049

Jim Bow
04-19-2018, 03:52 PM
I was going to, tongue in cheek, ask if "public intellectual" was the same as being an "influencer". Then I saw this:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/19/politics/sarah-palin-influencer/index.html

gypsie
04-20-2018, 12:00 AM
An intellectual whose work is accessible and resonates with the public, broadly?

The problem 'these days' is the partisanship. It doesn't allow for different perspectives to be heard. You say something against one side and you are branded politically motivated. And perhaps no longer a public intellectual because you are not being considered across a broad spectrum of the public.