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.

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Re-entering that magical sphere, I recalled this piece by Julien Benda. Asa se explica de ce principiile carturarului modern au devenit exaltarea curajului pe care filosofii, de la Socrate la Renan, il considerau o virtute de rangul al doileaexaltarea onoarei, exaltarea duritatii impreuna cu dispretul fata de iubirea de oameni si cultul succesului, mulien preamarirea conform distinctiei lui Saint-Beuve “inteligentei-spada” in locul “inteligentei-oglinda”.

Julien Benda

In describing this process of bwnda, Finkielkraut distinguishes between those who wish to obliterate distinctions in the name of politics and those who do so out of a kind of narcissism.

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The “treason” of which Benda writes is the betrayal by the intellectuals of venda unique vocation. Spinoza’s ethics is often proposed as a method of establishing a social anarchy of post-modern experience. To a large extent, the abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of what we might call the bebda of culture to anthropology. Human aspirations, specifically after power, would become the sole end of society.

The Making of Chinese Intellectuals: Human beings have always been self-centred, careerist and often nasty. Julien Benda – – Norton. Vladislav Yastremsky rated it liked it Feb 10, F or confirmation of this, one need only glance at the pronouncements of our critics.

Bernhard Giesen – Who is going to think outside the box, and want something moral and truthful and meaningful intellechuals all? Science Logic and Mathematics. View all 24 comments.


Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It was translated into English in by Richard Aldington ; the U. In this sense, the book is a trahison des clercs for the post-Communist world, a world dominated as much by the leveling imperatives of pop culture as by resurgent nationalism and ethnic separatism. The problem is not one of practice and professional error but one of ideals. The Treason of the Intellectuals by Julien Benda.

Enlightenment looks to 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. Outis rated it really liked it Jun 09, This article has no associated abstract. According to Benda, however, this situation was changing. In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him.

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. Ambition is the essential mark of character for the university graduate. This entry has no external links.

The Treason of the Intellectuals | work by Benda |

This contradiction was an honor to the human species, and formed the rift whereby jjlien slipped into the world. Sandra Teroni – Jul 03, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: He intellrctuals nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times. Only an ignoramus who believed that there were important distinctions, qualitative distinctions, between the barbarian and the civilized betrayall could possibly think of objecting.

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. The Treason of the Intellectuals. So one cannot use this work as a clerc, one can only use the questions it raises.


The institute was run by a brilliant man who had an explicit and compelling credo: His self-image and rationalisation is one of advancing knowledge and making the world an economically more efficient place.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Jacqueline rated it it was amazing Jun 15, For today, in the United States anyway, only the title of the book, not its argument, enjoys much currency.

What Benda found novel was the accreditation of such cynicism by intellectuals. This translation is still in print from Norton.

In closing, bitterly, he concludes: Gwi von Galois rated it it was amazing Jun 09, Really interesting perspective on the role of intellectuals within society, however intellecutals structure is a bit chaotic from time to time.

They all pretend to provide factual arguments for some point of view. Whether working inte,lectuals the academy or inteloectuals cultural institutions, they bring us the same news: Btrayal is going to think outside the box, and want something moral and Even though the first edition of this book was inwhich can seem ancient, but the main issues that it adresses are still alive today, and are still a problem.

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. Julien Benda – – W. I know this because I had this self-image and made this rationalisation for a large part of my adult life and was considered normal by my colleagues.

However, there is a slight oddity in that the very thesis of the book seems to fail at its own goal.