INTELLECTUALS & ETHICS

I posit, whether one is an exponent of the reductive/disjunctive or a free-floating intellectualism, so long as such a one brings his or her intellectual work to the public (e.g., in published writing, teaching, and policymaking) he or she is a public intellectual. Given this special condition, does a public intellectual whose work influences humanity have a responsibility to the public citizenry at large? What are the ethics for a public intellectual? Does a public intellectual belong to a special class, which transcends nationality? Must a public intellectual always be critical of the status quo? And if so, to what extent can this critical thinking be free of embedded assumptions, personal biases, old grudges, and so on? Does such a person need to strive for objectivity while at once recognizing his or her own limitations in breaking free from prison of pre-conditioned assumptions? How far can a public intellectual push the envelope of normative and implied ethical standards? Does he or she put a high limit on polemical arguments for social justice, the search for truth, and risking own social status?

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