• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book 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 Improvisational Nature of Intellectual Life
The improvisational nature of intellectual life
Academics Caught between Plagiarism and Bullshit

The canonical form of academic communication is the oral delivery of a written text. Powerpoint may be increasingly used but the general idea remains the same: academics think out loud by following a script. We take this sort of activity as indicative of deliberate thought, careful reasoning and, not least, respect for the audience. But perhaps all it shows is that academics literally do not know what they are talking about. We are the ugly autocuties. More to the point, it may prove that we are not very intelligent – or at least don't know how to recognize or value intelligence. Truly intelligent people know how to improvize well. ...

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