Post-Intellectualism and the Decline of Democracy

Paperback | August 1, 1996

byDonald 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 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 post-intellectual society -- 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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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 ...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.2 × 6.14 × 0.94 inPublished:August 1, 1996Publisher:Praeger Publishers

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:027595661X

ISBN - 13:9780275956615

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?Provocative social-cultural theory; jeremiad; prophecy of an already arrived technocratic dystopia. This book by a senior media scholar is all these. The human condition has evolved from a cyclical oral tradition to a linear culture of written intellectualism, but events of the last 35 years indicate descent into a Web culture of postintellectualism in which electronic media are central. Wood sees postintellectualism as the fruit of deliberate counterintellectualism and distended intellectualism, the 'irresponsible, unbridled, linear extension of intellectual endeavors without consideration of ultimate consequences'....much of what he writes is important, compelling, irrefutable. Recommended for academic readers, entering students through faculty.??Choice