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. The Treason of the Intellectuals: Julien Benda: La Trahison des clercs (; The Treason of the Intellectuals; also published as The Great Betrayal), Benda.

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Nationalism in Social and Political Philosophy. For today, in the United States anyway, only the title of the book, not its argument, enjoys much currency.

They were non-materialistic jilien who believed in a universal humanism and represented a cornerstone of civilized society. 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. According to Benda, this all began to change in the early twentieth century.

Benda defended the measured and dispassionate outlook of classical civilizationand the internationalism of traditional Christianity.

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The Treason of the Intellectuals Translated by Richard Aldington

It raises questions about how one presents their work as an academic and whether or not it is truly a theoretical gain, or if it is rather solely interested in political power under the banner of popular intellectualw quips. View all 24 comments.

Pavelescu Sabin-Stefan rated it really liked it Dec 30, 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, adica preamarirea conform distinctiei lui Saint-Beuve “inteligentei-spada” in locul “inteligentei-oglinda”.


Published October 17th by Routledge first published The process of disintegration has lately become an explicit attack on culture. Moreover, Benda survived the German occupation of France, —, and the Vichy regime despite being a Jew and having called the Germans “one of the plagues of the world”.

The Treason of the Intellectuals by Julien Benda

A worried guy looked at the landscape and tried to articulate his concerns. The attack on tue universal went forward in social and political life as well as in the refined precincts of epistemology and metaphysics: Request removal from index. He criticizes European intellectuals for allowing political commitment to insinuate itself into their understanding of the intellectual vocation, ushering the world into “the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds.

In other words, the real treason of the intellectuals was not that they countenanced Callicles but that they championed him. The problem is not one of practice jlien professional error but one of ideals. Views Read Edit View history. It was translated into English in by Richard Aldington ; the U.

As soon as the society or individuals of uulien society does so, it gives up any plausible attention to transcendental truths. Views Read Edit View history. T he Treason of the Intellectuals is an energetic hodgepodge of a book. It was republished in as The Treason of the Intellectuals with a new introduction by Roger Kimball.

More and more, intellectuals were abandoning their attachment to the traditional panoply of philosophical and scholarly ideals. Popular passages Page xviii – A generalized tolerance will be best achieved if we leave undisturbed whatever it is which constitutes the special character of intellrctuals individuals and peoples, whilst at the same time we retain the conviction that the distinctive worth of anything with true merit lies in its belonging to all humanity.

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Here again, the anthropological imperative has played a major role. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. Agassi – – Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 5: Could there possibly be anywhere deeper to go? Sep 05, AC rated it did not like it Shelves: Pragmatism exhorts him to do so in the name of his practical attributes.


The Treason of the Intellectuals Volume of Norton library. Beginning with Benda, Finkielkraut catalogues several prominent strategies that contemporary intellectuals have employed to retreat from the universal.

Julien Benda – Wikipedia

History of Western Philosophy. The upshot is not only that Shakespeare is intsllectuals, but also that the bootmaker is elevated. 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.

Such ideals have not fared well in the twentieth century: Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.

Julien Benda

It is this mature form of Enlightenment, championing reason but respectful of tradition, that Finkielkraut holds up as an ideal. Anastasia rated it really liked it Apr 01, He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times [1] and one time for the Goncourt Prize.

Born into a Jewish family in ParisBenda became a master of French hte. The litany that Finkielkraut recites is familiar:. 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.