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Pragmatism with PurposeSelected Writings$
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Peter Hare, Joseph Palencik, Douglas Anderson, and Steven A. Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264322

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264322.001.0001

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Values of the American Intellectual Class

Values of the American Intellectual Class

(p.279) Twenty Values of the American Intellectual Class
Pragmatism with Purpose

Peter Hare

Fordham University Press

This chapter comments on the values of the American intellectual class. It begins with an overview of “American exceptionalism” and turns to a discussion of the scathing attacks on American intellectuals. The chapter then considers the seeming lack of engagement in political reform among American intellectuals of the Left, which Richard Rorty attributes to self-absorption. In particular, the chapter expresses disappointment over the lack of political action on the part of philosophers who specialize in pragmatism. It also comments on the widespread belief in academe today that the social structure of the intellectual world is largely meritocratic and goes on to cite sociological evidence to the contrary. The chapter concludes by calling on all American intellectuals to stop being frantic status seekers and instead pay attention to intrinsic merit rather than pedigrees.

Keywords:   values, American intellectuals, American exceptionalism, political reform, Left, Richard Rorty, philosophers, pragmatism, merit

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