Download e-book for iPad: Intellectuals and the Public Good: Creativity and Civil by Barbara A. Misztal

By Barbara A. Misztal

Creativity and civil braveness are significant dimensions of an intellectual's authority and give a contribution in the direction of the enrichment of democracy. This publication develops a sociological account of civil braveness and inventive behaviour that allows you to improve our knowing of the character of intellectuals' involvement in society. Barbara A. Misztal employs either theoretical-analytic and empirical elements to enhance a typology of intellectuals who've proven civil braveness and examines the biographies of twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates, together with Elie Wiesel, Andrei Sakharov and Linus C. Pauling, to demonstrate acts of braveness that have embodied the values of civil society. She advances our knowing of the character of intellectuals' public involvement and their contribution to social future health. within the present weather of worry and lack of confidence, as governments are pressured to accommodate problems with expanding complexity, this can be a pioneering sociological publication with a hugely unique procedure.

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Extra info for Intellectuals and the Public Good: Creativity and Civil Courage

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In what follows, we look at the conceptualisation of and the tensions built into the role of the public intellectual. The role of public intellectuals Collini’s (2006: 190) idea that the activity of the intellectual ‘happens when specialisms ‘‘converge’’ and scholars go beyond their particularities’ stresses that public intellectuals have always started out with some recognised expertise, on which they capitalise when speaking to a broader, non-specialist public. Thus, it can be argued that the importance of public intellectuals is associated with their role of restoring the link between 22 Theoretical framework professional producers of ideas (such as academics, journalists, artists and scholars) and a non-specialist public.

In contrast, public intellectuals’ successful engagement with public issues depends, by definition, upon their civic concern with justice and other matters of human significance and upon their democratic imagination, which filters new and changing information about politics and the social world around them and which enhances their repertoire of strategies and the responsibility of their political judgement and action (Perrin 2006). If the necessary precondition for political judgement is a gift for synthesis, an exceptional sensitivity to certain kinds of facts or ‘a capacity for integrating a vast amalgam of constantly changing facts, debating what makes the statesmen’ (Berlin 1996: 27–8), such judgement is not built solely upon the foundation of knowledge, but on ‘an acute sense of what fits with what, what springs from what, what leads to what, what the result is likely to be in a concrete situation of the 34 Theoretical framework interplay of human beings and impersonal forces’ (Berlin 1996: 28).

The intellectual’s courage, the refusal to let fear govern the life of the mind, the refusal to submit to anything but the truth, is inherent in Weber’s conception of intellectual integrity, seen as a duty to be followed at whatever personal cost. Weber ([1915] 1946a: 155), who endorses ‘the The authority of public intellectuals 35 plain duty of intellectual integrity’, which demands ‘the courage to clarify one’s own ultimate judgements’, argues that intellectuals’ commitment to public problems consists essentially of a moral choice, and as such it requires courage.

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