SOURCE: The Atlantic
The Crisis of the Intellectuals
by Ibram X. Kendi
A dire health crisis forced the author to ask what his intellectual work was ultimately for. Intellectuals more broadly need a similar push from the dire state of democracy, and should be assured that when they face pushback about being "illiberal" or "presentist" or violating the traditions of their discipline, they're on the right track.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed
Moral Panics Around the Humanities Reflect Long-Developing Paradigm Shift
by Steven Mintz
The ferocity of attacks on the humanities and academic research as "indoctrination" reflect the recent integration of ideas with long histories in academia into highly visible protest movements. Can humanists connect newer thinking to the established concerns of the humanities for understanding justice or the good life?
SOURCE: The New Republic
Review: The Right-Wing Abuse of Adam Smith
by Kim Phillips-Fein
Glory M. Liu's account of Adam Smith's reception in America explains how American politicians read selectively in Smith's capacious writings on political economy and public morality to construct a self-interested view of the market as a natural phenomenon, writes historian Kim Phillips-Fein.
SOURCE: The New Republic
You Can't Have Ideological Conflict When One Side Abandons Ideas
by Timothy Noah
Sociologist Daniel Bell described ideology as "the commitment to the consequences of ideas." If this doesn't describe the GOP today, the author wonders how well the term "party of ideas" ever applied.
Recent Discovery Shows Women Scholars have been Hiding in Plain Sight of History
by Joel Marie Cabrita
Advances in imaging technology have revealed that an 8th century woman named Eadburg inscribed her name on the pages of a manuscript, claiming status as a woman of letters. The revelation also calls for more creative methods to find women scholars and assess their contributions.
Revisiting Kropotkin 180 Years After His Birth
by Sam Ben-Meir
The rise of automation and the concurrent squeeze of workers in the name of profit offer an opportunity to revisit the ideas of Russian anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin as a forward-looking critique of power.
SOURCE: Jewish Currents
Edifice Complex: "Burnout" Used to Refer to the Problems of the Urban Poor
by Bench Ansfield
The psychologization of stress and fatigue under the term "burnout" has blunted consideration of how and why modern society makes people stressed and fatigued. The term's history shows the critical turns not taken.
SOURCE: New York Times
Americans Have Always Imagined and Demanded Better Alternatives; Those Alternatives Have Been Hidden
by Jamelle Bouie
Thomas Skidmore's critique of inequality held that the inequality of private property consigned the majority of humanity to toil for the enjoyment of a minority, a situation irreconcilable with democracy.
The Takeover: The Self-Righteous Faculty and their Self-Righteous Students
by Russell Jacoby
A past critic of the self-proclaimed academic radicals of the 1980s used to think they were really careerists posing as leftists without impact on society. Now, he thinks they've changed the culture for the worse.
Libertarianism's Philosophers Come Out Worse For Wear
by Rebecca Brenner Graham
A fellowship at a leading libertarian institute convinced the author that the movement sees its luminaries as icons, not as historical figures.
SOURCE: New York Review of Books
Adam Smith Resolved the Identity-Distribution Debate—Why Is it Forgotten?
by Corey Robin
The political scientist Corey Robin considers a new book on Adam Smith's thought, and the role it played in posing questions about the purpose of the economy, and its relationship to individuals a selves embedded in society.
SOURCE: The Ringer
Kimberle Crenshaw on CRT and Acknowledging American History (Podcast)
The noted legal scholar discusses Critical Race Theory, anti-intellectualism in politics, and new work in African American political studies with host Bakari Sellers.
SOURCE: Harvard Gazette
Melvin Rogers: How Black Thinkers Remade America's Political Traditions
From Douglass to DuBois, African American intellectuals have pushed for the theory of American republicanism to wrestle with the conflict between racial domination and political equality.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed
The Decline of Intellectual History is a Problem
by Steven Mintz
Ideas matter, and the eclipse of the field of intellectual history puts an understanding of important ones in jeopardy. Even as intellectual history broadens and diversifies, it is still associated with the thoughts of elites.
SOURCE: Boston Review
Just Wear Your Smile: The Gender Politics of Positive Psychology
by Micki McElya
Positive Psychology, a supposed science of producing happiness, is part of a multibillion-dollar publishing market. Unfortunately, it's helped enshrine patriarchal values into the popular practice of psychology.
"Nature" Editors Acknowledge Journal's Contributions to Scientific Racism
The leading cross-disciplinary science publication acknowledges that it has given a platform to the scientifically discredited writings of eugenicists and has an ongoing obligation to ensure that it does not offer further support for oppression justified by the authority of science.
SOURCE: Law and Political Economy Project
Economism as a Red Scare Legacy
by Landon Storrs
An economic historian traces the rise of neoliberal political economy to the post-WWII Red Scare, when Keynesians were driven out of government service under suspicion of disloyalty.
SOURCE: The Nation
Virtue and Vice: Looking for the Real Adam Smith
by Glory Liu
Smith's work on political economy has long been seen in tension with his investigation of empathy and other moral sentiments. Paul Sagar's new book argues that scholars have mistaken Smith's intentions in order to falsely reconcile the market and morality.
SOURCE: The Conversation
The Bitter Irony of Rushdie Being Attacked at Chautauqua
by Charlotte M. Canning
Chautauqua was founded for the discussion of ideas, and while the attack shows there is no perfect asylum from repression, the Institution's survival represents the ongoing commitment to education and civic discussion.
SOURCE: Washington Post
How Trumpism Changed the Claremont Institute (and Vice-Versa)
The actions of John Eastman in urging the rejection of the 2020 election results and urging Trump supporters to storm the capitol raise questions for both participants and critics about how far the Claremont Institute should go in putting ideas into action.
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