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The Sociology of Intellectual Life

The Sociology of Intellectual Life
The Career of the Mind in and Around Academy

First Edition

August 2009 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The Sociology of Intellectual Life outlines a social theory of knowledge for the 21st century.

With characteristic subtlety and verve, Steve Fuller deals directly with a world in which it is no longer taken for granted that universities and academics are the best places and people to embody the life of the mind. While Fuller defends academic privilege, he takes very seriously the historic divergences between academics and intellectuals, attending especially to the different features of knowledge production that they value.

The boook's features include:

- an account of the problematic relationship between postmodernism and the university as an institution

- the problems facing an academic who wishes also to function as an intellectual

- a critical survey of the emerging fields of social epistemology and the sociology of philosophy

- a discussion of the ethics and politics of public intellectual life, especially given its largely improvisational (or as Fuller himself terms it, 'bullshit') character.

The University as an Institutional Solution to the Problem of Knowledge
The Alienability of Knowledge in our So-called Knowledge Society
The Knowledge Society as Capitalism of the Third Order
Will the University Survive the Era of Knowledge Management?
Postmodernism as an Anti-university Movement
Regaining the University's Critical Edge by Historicizing the Curriculum
Affirmative Action as a Strategy for Redressing the Balance between Research and Teaching
Academics Rediscover Their Soul: The Rebirth of 'Academic Freedom'
Epistemology as 'Always Already' Social Epistemology
From Social Epistemology to the Sociology of Philosophy
The Codification of Professional Prejudices?

Interlude: Seeds of an Alternative Sociology of Philosophy
Prolegomena to a Critical Sociology of Twentieth-century Anglophone Philosophy
Analytic Philosophy's Ambivalence Toward the Empirical Sciences
Professionalism as Differentiating American and British Philosophy
Conclusion: Anglophone Philosophy as a Victim of Its Own Success
Can Intellectuals Survive If the Academy Is a No-fool Zone?
How Intellectuals Became an Endangered Species in Our Times: The Trail of Psychologism
A Genealogy of Anti-intellectualism: From Invisible Hand to Social Contagion
Re-defining the Intellectual as an Agent of Distributive Justice
The Critique of Intellectuals in a Time of Pragmatist Captivity
Pierre Bourdieu: The Academic Sociologist as Public Intellectual
Academics Caught Between Plagiarism and Bullshit
Bullshit: A Disease Whose Cure Is Always Worse
The Scientific Method as a Search for the (Piled) Higher (and Deeper) Bullshit
Conclusion: How to Improvise on the World-historic Stage inspiring read for those who think that big ideas matter and intellectuals can change the world. Fuller's style is iconoclastic, but this is balanced by his erudition and his brilliant one-liners...Challanging and thought provoking, The Sociology of Intellectual Life is a rollicking defence of the possibilities and challanges of intellectual life in the modern university.
Eleanor Townsley
Contemporary Sociology

Steve Fuller is an academic and a public intellectual. In this powerful and polemical book he addresses the contemporary problem that confronts so rare a beast: the absence of a public… Academics, he argues, must take up the role of 'educated thinking in public' if they are to inform social action. What he means is that they have to act to create a new public. The cost of inaction will not only be the death of the university but of intellectual life. This responsibility should weigh like a nightmare on the dull brains of academics in the 21st century
Dennis Hayes
Visiting Professor, Oxford Brookes University and the founder of Academics For Academic Freedom

This text moves along easily and the reader is often genuinely impressed by Steve's learning and insight; there was a lot in here that I enjoyed
Steve Yearley
Professor of Sociology, University of Edinburgh

Steve Fuller is a trip. His flamboyant style is crisp, simultaneously colloquial and insider-professional, wasting no time on polite euphemisms
Randall Collins
International Sociology Review of Books

The Sociology of Intellectual Life is the latest salvo from Steve Fuller in his ongoing fight for a strongly prescriptive philosophy of science. Fuller’s writing is pugnacious, passionate, and unabashedly political... smart and sophisticated, and we should feel lucky to have him in our midst, haranguing us for what he perceives to be our intellectual sins
Jeff Kochan

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

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ISBN: 9781412928380

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