Post-Intellectualism and the Decline of Democracy: The Failure of Reason and Responsibility in the Twentieth Century

Post-Intellectualism and the Decline of Democracy: The Failure of Reason and Responsibility in the Twentieth Century

by Donald N. Wood
     
 

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Our society's institutional infrastructures—our democratic political system, economic structures, legal practices, and educational establishment—were all created as intellectual outgrowths of the Enlightenment. All our cultural institutions are based on the intellectual idea that an enlightened citizenry could govern its affairs with reason and

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Overview

Our society's institutional infrastructures—our democratic political system, economic structures, legal practices, and educational establishment—were all created as intellectual outgrowths of the Enlightenment. All our cultural institutions are based on the intellectual idea that an enlightened citizenry could govern its affairs with reason and responsibility. In the late 20th century, however, we are witnessing the disintegration of much of our cultural heritage. Wood argues that this is due to our evolution into a ^Upost-intellectual society^R—a society characterized by a loss of critical thinking, the substitution of information for knowledge, mediated reality, increasing illiteracy, loss of privacy, specialization, psychological isolation, hyper-urbanization, moral anarchy, and political debilitation. These post-intellectual realities are all triggered by three underlying determinants: the failure of linear growth and expansion to sustain our economic system; the runaway information overload; and technological determinism. Wood presents a new and innovative social theory, challenging readers to analyze all our post-intellectual cultural malaise in terms of these three fundamental determinants.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Wood (radio-television-film, California State U.-Northridge) sees in the past few decades that people have become unable to understand their social and scientific environment, or to make selfless and long-range decisions for the good of society, and have surrendered their government to special interests and specialized technocrats. He introduces the concept of post- intellectualism and surveys some of the personal, social, and political consequences he fears. He also looks at concerns and questions on reversing the effects of the progress paradox and offers ten recommendations, most involving pressuring government for change. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275956615
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/20/1996
Pages:
322
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.67(d)
Lexile:
1360L (what's this?)

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