This article presents the Small Glossary of Anti-intellectualism, where the most common rhetorical strategies and themes of contemporary academic anti-intellectualism are commented on. Anti-intellectualism is as old as intellectual life itself. However, its contemporary version is historically and sociologically rooted in the very structure of modern culture industry. It is a manifestation of a now universal pseudo-culture (Halbbildung) which, according to Adorno, has become the “dominant form of contemporary consciousness.” Arthur Schlesinger said that anti-intellectualism has long been the anti-Semitism of the businessman; today, anti-intellectualism is certainly the antisemitism of several social and political groups, including academia itself—a fact which by the way might attest to how influential businessman-ideology is in our society. In recent years, education and research have undergone crucial changes that redefine their nature and their relation to society, feeding new forms of anti-intellectualism, which manifest in the vast penetration of managerial discourse in the institutions for higher education. But academic anti-intellectualism is also the result of the institutionalization of ideas, which are naturalized as commonplaces. The six entries of the Glossary that are presented in the final part of this article assume one of the most important tasks of the intellect: to break and open the narrow margins of ossified thought.
Díaz Villarreal, William.
"On a Small Glossary of Academic Anti-Intellectualism."
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