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.

Author: Jugami Yogor
Country: Bolivia
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 11 November 2016
Pages: 377
PDF File Size: 18.1 Mb
ePub File Size: 16.23 Mb
ISBN: 437-2-59082-867-2
Downloads: 9618
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Tukora

When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning. Who – if not intellectuals? No trivia or quizzes yet.

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.

If this were the case, then Spinoza, intellechuals clerc which the author to be a shining example, would be a failure under interpretation of post-modern religion.

Only an ignoramus who believed that there were important distinctions, qualitative distinctions, between the barbarian and the civilized man could possibly think of objecting. In Europe in the s, intellectuals began abandoning their attachment to traditional philosophical and scholarly ideals, and instead glorified particularisms nitellectuals moral relativism.

The Introduction is written in the style of some sort of Straussian cant and is a complete waste of time. Beginning with Benda, Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal.

Come al tempo di Benda, anche oggi, il chierico parla per sentimenti, parla per sensazioni, per passioni; lasciando la ragione in un angolo remoto venda giustificando con le sue prediche il declino morale tutto sensazionalistico e poco logico-razionale dell’Europa. As soon as the society or individuals of that society does so, it gives up any plausible attention to transcendental truths. And given intellectuaps continuing echo in our own time of the problems he anatomized, the relevance of his observations to our situation can hardly be doubted.


I feel this book leaves its arguments vaguely unfinished, and instead rests its case on historical failures and predictions, such as grand wars, which could have been explained away by other means, and often were. Re-entering that magical sphere, I recalled this piece by Julien Benda. Enlightenment looks jjlien culture as a repository of values that transcend the self, postmodernism looks to the fleeting desires of the isolated self as the only legitimate source of value.

So one cannot use this work as a clerc, one can only use the questions it raises. Outis rated it really liked it Jun 09, At one point early in my career I was a member of an academic institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hannah Chamberlain rated it really liked it Aug 13, F or confirmation of this, one need only glance at the pronouncements of our critics. The Making of Chinese Intellectuals: Ambition is the essential mark of character for the university graduate.

The Betrayal of the Intellectuals

The diatribe that Horkheimer and Adorno mounted against the concept of Enlightenment reminds us of an important peculiarity about the history of Enlightenment: This contradiction was an honor to the human species, and formed the rift whereby civilization slipped into the world. Winning is the only measure of success no matter how ujlien, or destructive, or painful to jukien the competition might be.

There are many sides to this phenomenon. This is not disinterested! Thus, I choose to not see it as such, but rather an interested as opposed to disinterested, as the book would argue warning to the intellectual.

So it seems sensible to revisit Treason to at least become more aware of the problem. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The author sometimes repeats himself, but this is still a very good and important book. Books by Julien Benda. Commercialisation of our talents in research and analysis did not make us any more relevant, just richer. For example, the author claims that it is not necessarily the goal of a clerc that makes one fail, but rather how this work is used that makes it sufficiently treasonous.


One clear sign of the change was the attack on the Enlightenment ideal of universal humanity and the concomitant glorification of various particularisms. Published October 17th by Routledge first published Yet he believed that science was superior to literature as a method of inquiry.

The Treason of the Intellectuals

Retrieved from ” https: Hammam Azar rated it really liked it Dec 20, Really interesting perspective on the role of intellectuals within society, however the structure is a bit chaotic from time to time. Julien Benda’s classic study of s Europe resonates today. Still, there is something respectable about pointing this out, and it would seem to me that in a modern world, this is the kind of argument that is often offered in opposition to scientifically and ethically relativist postmodernist propositions.

The multiculturalists wave the standard of radical politics and say in the words of a nineteenth-century Russian populist slogan that Finkielkraut quotes: Emehinola Taiwo rated it liked it Dec 17, Monthly downloads Sorry, there are inteloectuals enough data points to plot this chart. Benda defended the intellecruals and dispassionate outlook of classical betraysland the internationalism of traditional Christianity.

Julien Benda, The Betrayal of the Intellectuals – PhilPapers

This entry has no external links. Julien Benda 26 December — 7 June was a French philosopher and novelist.

Open Preview See a Problem? Request removal from index. Lists with This Book. What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals.