This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.
6 Catholic intellectuals The Jesuits launched their journal Studies in March 1912. In its first decade Studies reflected the Catholic constitutional nationalism that became displaced by Sinn Féin. After the war of independence and the civil war it hosted the mainstream social, economic, constitutional and political debates that shaped the new state. Both the conservative and liberal wings of the Catholic bourgeois who dominated politics and academia set out their thinking in Studies. A catholic intent was signalled by its initial subtitle: ‘An Irish Quarterly
Chapter 4 Intellectual context: theology and theologians that the Chief Rabbis were members of the acknowledgement school, which contained a number of different theological currents: romantic, scientiﬁc, aesthetic and nostalgic. The Chief Rabbis were primarily members of the scientiﬁc stream, although – as they took conservative positions on certain matters, particularly the authorship of the Pentateuch – they were members of its traditional wing. However, the Chief Rabbis also adopted ideas from the romantic stream and thereby inhabited theological ground
7 Intellectual politics and Europe More than other societies, French society needs revolutionary totems. Next to the eponymous statuette of Pierre Bourdieu, great sociologist and firstclass ultrabasist mandarin, will henceforth stand that of Arlette Laguiller, as a caryatid supporting Lutte ouvrière [a Trotskyist party]. Formerly the Communist party, symbol of an unattainable 'Great Evening', the torch of a frank and massive strategy of rupture with capitalist society, held this role. (Duhamel 1998, 4) The often contradictory process of symbolic integration
9 Shils and the intellectuals Jefferson Pooley Introduction No topic so consistently preoccupied Edward Shils, at every stage of his career, as the intellectual. Most of his reflections concerned the intellect ual’s fraught relationship with the societies that harbour them. This chapter traces Edward Shils’ distinctive conception of the intellectual – as indispensable to, but all too often an opponent of, social order. During his undergraduate years in the late 1920s, Shils had already become fascinated with, and repulsed by, the tendency that he observed
20 1 Intellectual flows and counterflows: the strange case of J. S. Mill Lynn Zastoupil Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori recently argued that there are many ways to explore global intellectual history. One approach addresses the circulation of ideas and the factors that facilitate or hinder this. Attention to individuals who traverse(d) cultural borders was an early contribution. A large body of scholarship is now available on the travellers, intermediaries, translators, and go-betweens who, in ‘crossing seemingly insurmountable borders[,]learned how to make
2 Becoming an ‘intellectual’ B ecoming a woman intellectual in early modern England was no straightforward task. Financial dependence, lack of personal autonomy, marriage and motherhood could all bring pressures to bear on practices of self-development. However, it was from within these circumstances that women found ways to engage with the life of the mind. Moreover, the forms intellectual engagement took were informed by their domestic contexts and the patterns of exchange framed by letter-writing. This chapter explores the cultures of knowledge in which
11 •• How to be an intellectual Luis G. Martínez del Campo The term ‘intellectual’ started to be commonly used to describe a new social figure who emerged in Europe in the 1890s. Until then, men of letters had fulfilled seemingly similar functions that responded to the configuration of public opinion in the eighteenth century (see Chapter 10). However, the birth of the intellectual was a response to a society that was changing in the long term, in which the figure of the public writer was to play a slightly different role in the political field and enjoy a
This book addresses the condition of the University today. There has been a fundamental betrayal of the institution by the political class, perverting it from its proper social and cultural functions. The betrayal has narrowed the scope of the University, through the commercial financialization of knowledge. In short, the sector has been politicized, and now works explicitly to advance and serve a market-fundamentalist ideology. When all human values are measured by money, then wealth is mistaken for ‘the good’. Social, cultural, and political corruption follow. The University’s leadership has become complicit in a yet more fundamental betrayal of society, as an ever-widening wedge is driven between the lives of ordinary citizens and the self-interest of the privileged and wealthy. It is no wonder that ‘experts’ are in the dock today. In 1927, the philosopher Julien Benda accused intellectuals of treason. His argument was that their thinking had been politicized, polluted by a nationalism that could only culminate in war. In 1939, Nazism explicitly corrupted the University and the intellectuals, demanding ideological allegiance instead of thought. We continue to live through the ever-worsening aftermath of this ; by endorsing an entire ideology of ‘competition’, intellectuals have established a neo-Hobbesian war of all against all as the new cornerstone of societies. This now threatens human ecological survival. In light of this, the intellectual and the University have a duty to extend democracy and social justice. This book calls upon the intellectual to assist in the survival of the species.
Through its focus on secular Muslim public intellectuals in contemporary France, this book challenges polarizing accounts of Islam and Muslims, which have been ubiquitous in political and media debates for the last thirty years. The work of these intellectuals is significant because it expresses, in diverse ways, an ‘internal’ vision of Islam that demonstrates how Muslim identification and practices successfully engage with and are part of a culture of secularism (laïcité). The study of individual secular Muslim intellectuals in contemporary France thus gives credence to the claim that the categories of religion and the secular are more closely intertwined than we might assume. This monograph is a timely publication that makes a crucial contribution to academic and political debates about the place of Islam and Muslims in contemporary France. The book will focus on a discursive and contextualised analysis of the published works and public interventions of Abdelwahab Meddeb, Malek Chebel, Leïla Babès, Dounia Bouzar and Abdennour Bidar – intellectuals who have received little scholarly attention despite being well-known figures in France.