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Palgrave Macmillan

Intellectuals in the Society of Spectacle

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Examines the disappearance of the public intellectual in contemporary times
  • Explains the danger of today’s intellectual vacuum
  • Argues for the rejuvenation of humanist values and the intellectual tradition

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About this book

This book reveals the sense in which our postmodern societies are characterized by the obscene absence of the intellectual.  The modern intellectual--who had once been associated with humanism and enlightenment—has in our day been replaced by media stars, talking heads, and technical experts. At issue is the ongoing crisis of democracy, under the aegis of the société du spectacle and its vast networks of politically-induced idiocy, industrially-produced biocide, and militarily-provoked genocide.  Spectacle fills the resulting moral and intellectual vacuum with electronic technologies of control, punishment, and destruction.  This postmodern tyranny reduces intelligence to mechanistic, positivist, and grammatological models of inquiry, while increasing the segmentation, fragmentation, and dissolution of human existence. The apotheosis of the spectacle explains the intellectual void that lies at the heart of our postmodern decadence; it also accounts for theneed to recuperate the humanist values of enlightenment promoted by the modern intellectual tradition.

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Table of contents (4 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romance, German & Slavic Languages, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

    Christopher Britt

  • Spanish & Portuguese, New York University, New York, USA

    Eduardo Subirats

About the authors

Christopher Britt is Professor of Spanish at The George Washington University, USA.

Eduardo Subirats is Professor of Spanish at New York University, USA.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Intellectuals in the Society of Spectacle

  • Authors: Christopher Britt, Eduardo Subirats

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-73105-2Published: 25 May 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-73108-3Published: 26 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-73106-9Published: 24 May 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VIII, 162

  • Topics: History of Philosophy, History, general, Literature, general

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