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The new treason of the intellectualsCan the University survive?$
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Thomas Docherty

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132741

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526132741.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The new treason of the intellectuals

Thomas Docherty

Manchester University Press

Julien Benda argued in 1946, reprising his 1927 Treason of the Intellectuals, that the intellectual’s primary responsibility was to abstract thought, removing the intellectual from political engagement or ‘passion’. By contrast, Edward Said, essentially extending the thought of Jaspers on the Idea of the University argued that the intellectual’s commitments are absolutely central to her or his identity. In exploring these positions and setting them in their respective historical contexts, this Introduction outlines the ways in which the intellectual has a responsibility towards politics, and exposes the way in which the contemporary university institution conspires to limit the effects of this. The university, today, has a commitment to a specific ideology of market fundamentalism; and the Introduction shows how this rests in prejudice. It thus reveals the fundamental basis on which a contemporary treason of the intellectuals rests, and argues for a rehabilitation of the proper task of the intellectual and of the university.

Keywords:   Julien Benda, Karl Jaspers, Edward Said, Market fundamentalism, University

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