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Anti-intellectualism

 
 
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 01:50 pm
There is today, a strong anti-intellectual feeling among younger generations today. I'm wondering what people think caused this, and how long it has been going on.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,395 • Replies: 56
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pantheras
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:08 pm
@Three dog,
If be intelligent means lack a social skills, it will be always something weird to be that way and always was. I think that intelligent people have to use some "low-grade" social skills a well as others have to understand that trying to think sometimes cause life easier.
Worst what can happen is intellectual which is proud to be socialy indisposed, but in fact covers his psychical weakness to do something about it.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:16 pm
@Three dog,
I am not sure it is so much anti-intellectual as a growing recognition of the limits of science, technology and reason to solve the problems of society. The age of reason and science is now felt to be a little pretensious and a little arrogant regarding its claims as the source of values and aesthetics. We have undermined religion but have developed nothing to take its place.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:24 pm
@prothero,
A lot of anti-intellectualism is really political and typically comes from the "right". For example "conservative" attacks upon "liberal" college professors.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 04:07 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;123071 wrote:
A lot of anti-intellectualism is really political and typically comes from the "right". For example "conservative" attacks upon "liberal" college professors.


Have you any examples of this?
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 05:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;123111 wrote:
Have you any examples of this?


An example of this.
0 Replies
 
TickTockMan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 05:39 pm
@Three dog,
Three_dog;123065 wrote:
I'm wondering what people think caused this,


Lack of intellect.

Three_dog;123065 wrote:
and how long it has been going on.


At least a year.
0 Replies
 
Sam I Am phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 07:28 pm
@prothero,
prothero;123068 wrote:
I am not sure it is so much anti-intellectual as a growing recognition of the limits of science, technology and reason to solve the problems of society. The age of reason and science is now felt to be a little pretensious and a little arrogant regarding its claims as the source of values and aesthetics. We have undermined religion but have developed nothing to take its place.


I'm not sure we're recognizing limits to those advances or refusing to acknowledge how far we can go with them. A lot of people hate that their actions can be boiled down to psychological principles, or that their emotional decisions might be against all logic.
Intellectualism isn't disliked because its outdated. Its disliked because people can't deal with its conclusions.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 07:35 pm
@Sam I Am phil,
Sam I Am;123143 wrote:
I'm not sure we're recognizing limits to those advances or refusing to acknowledge how far we can go with them. A lot of people hate that their actions can be boiled down to psychological principles, or that their emotional decisions might be against all logic.
Intellectualism isn't disliked because its outdated. Its disliked because people can't deal with its conclusions.
Well we are only part rational animal and the other part is just plain "animal". I still maintain the notion that science and reason will create perfect societies and solve the existential problems of human existence is a mistaken one. They are useful tools, yes, but only in acheiving goals that come from other sources or other notions of transcendent value.
0 Replies
 
pantheras
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 04:14 am
@Sam I Am phil,
Sam I Am;123143 wrote:
A lot of people hate that their actions can be boiled down to psychological principles


Indeed, you cannot explain everyone every conclusion which lead him to any type of behaviour. Which is in fact current principal of psychology. They will tell you (for example) that your behaviour comes from any key situation from the childhood, which could be partly correct, however that can get you excuses and fail ideas about what to do about it.

It is like if you tell to alcoholic that he has disease, while he is just unable to handle some situation and escapes from it. But tell him that he is searching for escape and he will just continue in drinking and just can make up any apology if he want or will stop to communicate.

You can show to people situations how to act to not end up like that. Explain them why, but if you explain everything, you are giving them chance to build a new subconscious borders.
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 04:06 pm
@Three dog,
Three_dog;123065 wrote:
There is today, a strong anti-intellectual feeling among younger generations today. I'm wondering what people think caused this, and how long it has been going on.


There have been anti-intellectual people for a very long time, perhaps always. In many cases, it is motivated by the fact that reason does not always provide the answers that people hope to find. Thus, there are people who advocate believing things without bothering with reason or evidence (i.e., having faith).
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 04:27 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;123537 wrote:
There have been anti-intellectual people for a very long time, perhaps always. In many cases, it is motivated by the fact that reason does not always provide the answers that people hope to find. Thus, there are people who advocate believing things without bothering with reason or evidence (i.e., having faith).


Perhaps it would be anti-intellectual just to assume we understand what anti-intellectualism is supposed to be, and why it is supposed to be so evil. I can see some good reasons for it. I may be an anti-intellectual intellectual.

Review of Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life - BrothersJudd.com
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 04:49 pm
@kennethamy,
maybe the new "anti-intellectual' is more of an epi-intellectual. maybe they are intellectuals that are non-traditional.
0 Replies
 
Mowgli phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 05:10 pm
@prothero,
prothero;123068 wrote:
I am not sure it is so much anti-intellectual as a growing recognition of the limits of science, technology and reason to solve the problems of society. The age of reason and science is now felt to be a little pretensious and a little arrogant regarding its claims as the source of values and aesthetics. We have undermined religion but have developed nothing to take its place.



i really like what you have said here i think your right. personally i am for progress, new technology, and new discovers. i think science has its place and can be great. the problem comes from hyper-rationalism, people talking in absolutes, and people using science like a religion. all human senses are flawed, limited, and subjective this creates fallacies in scientific information. im not trying to say that we should disregard science altogether, im just saying (this is just my opinion) that we need to come to terms with the absurdity that is human intellectual factuality. even my opinion is absurd and should be taken as just a possibility since all possibilities are both unprovable and undeniable making all possibilities possible.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 05:36 pm
@Mowgli phil,
Mowgli;123552 wrote:
i really like what you have said here i think your right. personally i am for progress, new technology, and new discovers. i think science has its place and can be great. the problem comes from hyper-rationalism, people talking in absolutes, and people using science like a religion. all human senses are flawed, limited, and subjective this creates fallacies in scientific information. im not trying to say that we should disregard science altogether, im just saying (this is just my opinion) that we need to come to terms with the absurdity that is human intellectual factuality. even my opinion is absurd and should be taken as just a possibility since all possibilities are both unprovable and undeniable making all possibilities possible.


I don't think that anti-intellectuals are anti-scientific. They may be, however, against junk science, like the climate change fad. But what anti-intellectuals have noticed are the depredations of the intellectuals on society from the French Revolution, and the nonsense of Rousseau; through to the idiocy of "the best and the brightest" who started and conducted, the war in Vietnam, to the failures of the Great Society which increased welfare dependency in the United States, by forcing fathers out of the homes of their children by threatening the families with men at home with the removal of their welfare payments. Thanks to that great Liberal Robert Byrd.
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 05:56 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;123541 wrote:
Pyrrho;123537 wrote:
There have been anti-intellectual people for a very long time, perhaps always. In many cases, it is motivated by the fact that reason does not always provide the answers that people hope to find. Thus, there are people who advocate believing things without bothering with reason or evidence (i.e., having faith).
Perhaps it would be anti-intellectual just to assume we understand what anti-intellectualism is supposed to be, and why it is supposed to be so evil. I can see some good reasons for it. I may be an anti-intellectual intellectual.

Review of Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life - BrothersJudd.com


Mowgli;123552 wrote:
... im not trying to say that we should disregard science altogether...


kennethamy;123555 wrote:
I don't think that anti-intellectuals are anti-scientific. They may be, however, against junk science, like the climate change fad. But what anti-intellectuals have noticed are the depredations of the intellectuals on society from the French Revolution, and the nonsense of Rousseau; through to the idiocy of "the best and the brightest" who started and conducted, the war in Vietnam, to the failures of the Great Society which increased welfare dependency in the United States, by forcing fathers out of the homes of their children by threatening the families with men at home with the removal of their welfare payments. Thanks to that great Liberal Robert Byrd.


I think you are assuming too much in your ideas of "anti-intellectualism". See:

Anti-intellectualism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note that it says in part:

Wikipedia wrote:
Anti-intellectualism is the hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science. [emphasis added in both placed]



But to get us back to the opening post, it might be good if Three_dog would explain what he or she meant by "There is today, a strong anti-intellectual feeling among younger generations today."
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 06:07 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;123566 wrote:
I think you are assuming too much in your ideas of "anti-intellectualism". See:

Anti-intellectualism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note that it says in part:






Well, that's Wiki for you. As Bernard Shaw wrote:

The Liberal impulse is almost always to give a dog a bad name and hang him: that is, to denounce the menaced proprietors as enemies of mankind, and ruin them in a transport of virtuous indignation.
[1928 G. B. Shaw Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism lvii.]
0 Replies
 
Mowgli phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 07:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;123555 wrote:
I don't think that anti-intellectuals are anti-scientific. They may be, however, against junk science, like the climate change fad. But what anti-intellectuals have noticed are the depredations of the intellectuals on society from the French Revolution, and the nonsense of Rousseau; through to the idiocy of "the best and the brightest" who started and conducted, the war in Vietnam, to the failures of the Great Society which increased welfare dependency in the United States, by forcing fathers out of the homes of their children by threatening the families with men at home with the removal of their welfare payments. Thanks to that great Liberal Robert Byrd.


i personally am not anti-science, and i do not know if anti-intellectuals are. honestly i wasn't even aware that there was any group that called themselves anti-intellectuals. i do think science, and more so scientists are flawed, and that science should be looked at as a tool not an answer.
0 Replies
 
Jonblaze
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 11:49 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;123111 wrote:
Have you any examples of this?




Hey 1st post Smile

I think the most prominent "anti-liberal academia" commentator (that I have listened to and read about) is David Horowitz. Check out the wiki page on his book "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America".

I do not recommend it for intellectual rigor, but as an example of the type of thought that permeates the discussion.

Horowitz takes more of an "academia is a bunch of brainwashing communists" approach, but I think much more widespread is the sort of pseudo-populist idea that academics regard themselves as elevated compared to those around them, as if they are, by virtue of their place in academia, in possession of some special knowledge.

In the movie "Away We Go" one of the couples that the main characters meet are a couple of hilarious hippies whose life is so non-mainstream that they refuse the gift of a stroller from the main characters; they don't want to "push" away their kids.

IMHO, most people that you pass on the street are as intelligent as anyone in academia (you just have to ask them about something they care about). I have had some amazing conversations with people on the bus, in coffee shops, in bookstores etc.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 07:01 am
@Jonblaze,
Jonblaze;123612 wrote:
Hey 1st post Smile

I think the most prominent "anti-liberal academia" commentator (that I have listened to and read about) is David Horowitz. Check out the wiki page on his book "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America".

I do not recommend it for intellectual rigor, but as an example of the type of thought that permeates the discussion.

Horowitz takes more of an "academia is a bunch of brainwashing communists" approach, but I think much more widespread is the sort of pseudo-populist idea that academics regard themselves as elevated compared to those around them, as if they are, by virtue of their place in academia, in possession of some special knowledge.

In the movie "Away We Go" one of the couples that the main characters meet are a couple of hilarious hippies whose life is so non-mainstream that they refuse the gift of a stroller from the main characters; they don't want to "push" away their kids.

IMHO, most people that you pass on the street are as intelligent as anyone in academia (you just have to ask them about something they care about). I have had some amazing conversations with people on the bus, in coffee shops, in bookstores etc.


Criticizing academia, or the professorate, is not the same as being anti-intellectual. In fact, it might be intellectual to do so. In my experience with academia and the professorate, the main tendency is what George Orwell called, "group-think".
 

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