In , the French essayist Julien Benda published his famous attack on the intellectual corruption of the age, La Trahison des clercs. I said “famous,” but. Julien Benda’s classic study of s Europe resonates today. The “treason of the intellectuals” is a phrase that evokes much but is inherently ambiguous. Julien Benda (26 December – 7 June ) was a French philosopher and novelist. He remains famous for his short book, La Trahison des Clercs (The Tr.

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From the savage flowering of ethnic hatreds in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to the mendacious demands for political correctness and multiculturalism on college campuses across America and Europe, the treason of the intellectuals continues to play out its unedifying drama. If this book is reported as a work of a ‘clerc’, then it is a failure.

The Treason of the Intellectuals by Julien Benda

Julien Benda – – Journal of Philosophy 26 1: Here again, the anthropological imperative has played a major role. To see what henda friends thought of this book, please sign up. In describing this process of leveling, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism.

It was republished in as The Treason of the Intellectuals with a new introduction by Roger Kimball. Jul 17, Ingeborg rated it really liked it Shelves: Si-Liang Luo – – Modern Philosophy 4: His self-image and rationalisation is one of advancing knowledge and making the world an economically more efficient place. This translation is still in print from Norton.


The Treason of the Intellectuals

Finkielkraut notes that the rhetoric of postmodernism is in some ways similar to the rhetoric of Enlightenment. The warning is as follows: The “treason of the intellectuals” is a phrase that evokes much but is inherently ambiguous. This edition is introduced by Roger Kimball.

For example, the author claims that it is not bbenda the goal of a clerc that makes one fail, but rather how this work is used that makes it sufficiently treasonous. Views Read Edit View history. Sign in to use this feature. Lists with This Book.

Julien Benda – Wikipedia

The Frankfurt School Marxists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno gave an exemplary but by no means uncharacteristic demonstration of one strain of this brand of anti-rational animus in the mids. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two.

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According to Benda, this all began to change in the early twentieth century. Only as I matured did I realise that what we were doing was letting someone else – particularly if they had deep pockets – define what constituted a significant social problem.

I know benad because I had this self-image and made this intellecthals for a large part of my adult life and was considered normal by my colleagues. Among other things, this means that it is a brief for the idea that mankind is united by a common humanity that transcends ethnic, racial, and sexual divisions.

It makes you think! Unfortunately, it does not do so an an sufficiently metaphysically useful way.

Emehinola Taiwo rated it intellectuaals it Dec 17, Sep 05, AC rated it did not like it Shelves: In Europe in the s, intellectuals began abandoning their attachment to traditional philosophical and scholarly ideals, and instead glorified particularisms and moral relativism.


At one point early in my career I was a member of an academic institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Julien Benda

This page was last edited on 19 Decemberat Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Outis rated it bend liked it Jun 09, Instead he resorts to rants about interested others. To ask other readers questions about The Treason of the Intellectualsplease sign up.

This polemical essay argued that European intellectuals in the 19th and 20th century had often lost the ability to reason dispassionately about political and military matters, instead becoming apologists for crass nationalism, warmongering and racism. The predictions in the work became reality in the most devestating ways holocaustbut perhaps the scary part is that is still so relevant to contemporary issues faced today.

Multiculturalism, as Finkielkraut points out, requires that we beetrayal such practices. The institute was run by a brilliant man who had an explicit and compelling bendq Julien Benda – – Norton. Who is going to think outside the box, and want something moral and Even though the first edition of this book was inwhich can seem ancient, but the main issues that it adresses are still alive today, and are still a problem.

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