Russell Jacoby on Public Intellectuals

Russell Jacoby’s a professor of History at UCLA, who wrote this book a few years back.

He claimed that instead of pursuing a literate, reading public, many intellectuals have bent to the tendency to cloister themselves in universities, and there… specialize in jargon, becoming irrelevant.

His new article rehashes the arguments he made some 20 years ago.

1.  Does his argument extend beyond the liberal arts, to the sciences and philosophy?

2.  Are people really interested in thinking for themselves ever going to be embraced by the public? even by their peers in universities?

3. What ethical obligation do professors have to communicate to an audience wider than that of their students and colleagues?

Relevant PostsShould You Bother To Get A Liberal Arts Education?, The Liberal Skew In Higher Education:  Becker-Posner Blog.

Addition:  The Wall Street Journal has a related piece here.

Another Addition:  Jacoby has an article about complexity and simplicity. 

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