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House of Intellect, The

Jacques Barzun (1907–2012), a noted American educator, used the house of intellect as the title of an influential book, first published in 1959. The house of intellect encompassed “the persons who consciously and methodically employ the mind; the forms and habits governing the activities in which the mind is so employed; and the conditions under which these people and activities exist” (Barzun, 1959, pp. 3–4). Many writers have since come to use the phrase as a loose synonym for the institutions of higher education. Barzun actually wrote about it with a more complicated, distinctive meaning.

Barzun’s The House of Intellect exemplified his gift for engaging, lucid prose; his concern for the condition of education at all levels; and his questioning convention and fashion, all to strengthen ...

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