Talk:Anti-intellectualism

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Beacon DF[edit]

This section is not Asian related or Anti-intellectualism related and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.241.172.159 (talk) 06:32, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

A note on objectivity[edit]

It's worth noting here that the goal of these articles is objective examination. However, objectivity is a phenomenon of the intellect; in other words, how can one write an encyclopedia article on something that is anti-writing-an-encyclopedia-article in a way that is not critical?

Bias is a misunderstood word. We want to avoid non-substantiated bias. Bias towards fact is the definition of scholarship. In other words, while it might be biased for me to say "creationism is fiction," or "education tends to make people more liberal," they still have a place in an encyclopedia article, because those things are true. They are fact.

Reader Comments: No proof is given here on that creationism and education making people liberal can't be fact. Concrete proof needs to be given to criticizing ANYTHING as non-factual, even a flying spaghetti monster. Things are hard to prove with personal opinions such as that none of the things stated are true at all. For instance, one person may think it's a fact that all religion gets in the way of intellectual thought, whereas another person would disagree simply because of the fact that many intellectuals were part of a religion of some sort. It is best to keep hot-button topics NEUTRAL until there is a universal agreement.

Encyclopedias side with fact. It has nothing to do with how many people disagree with a fact, if they have no factual reason for disagreeing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Huxley28 (talkcontribs) 18:33, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Most facts are presupposed by certain values. For example, many articles on individual persons fail to mention whether or not the person has two eyes. The inclusion of a person's hometown versus how many eyes he has cannot be defended by fact. Additionally, the inclusion of facts, or relations of facts, does not entail an article that is NPOV. Your statement that, "education tends to make people more liberal" could be written, with more facts, as "some studies conducted in liberal democracies in the 20th and 21st centuries have observed that there is a correlation between educational attainment and a person becoming more 'liberal' in his political views." Upon the inclusion of more information in the latter statement, the former statement becomes dubious, and this is exemplifies my main point. 71.231.120.183 (talk) 06:05, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Populism[edit]

I removed the references to narodnikis, peronism, etc. because this movements were not "anti-intellectual--79.169.173.22 (talk) 20:06, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

lightning rod[edit]

File:Martin-heidegger.jpg
Martin Heidegger was a card-carrying member of the nazi party

OMG this article is a lightning rod for every academic who has a gripe to bear. The repeated name- and picture- dropping of dictators alone is a blaring attempt at guilt of so-called anti-intellectuals by association, and as horrific an association as possible. If intellectuals have written this article, where is the balance? Where is the response to criticism right here on the talk page? But my guess is that intellectuals didn't write the article - academics did, with their usual emotional-political overtones, need for power, and obsession with sounding right even as they cloak themselves in the banner of post-modernism.216.232.242.7 (talk) 00:23, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Further to my point about dictator-photo-dropping, what if we added the photo on the right? If would be about as neutral as stacking the article with photos of Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. 216.232.242.7 (talk) 00:47, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

What do you suggest we do?? Oldag07 (talk) 18:32, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I suggest we purge - no pun intended ;) - a great deal of the material, especially in the latter part of the article. Most of it is completely unsourced, and presented in this "every schoolboy knows..." fashion that is, in itself, decidedly anti-intellectual and screams of OR. I'll start grinding the axes... DigitalHoodoo (talk) 15:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Not for you personally, but for the writers of the article, I suggest: Have a beer, meditate on the connection among your personal thoughts, feelings, and actions, forget all about the article and look inward instead. And, to be honest, I need to do so as well. 216.232.242.7 (talk) 00:13, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Photo dropping++ -- Why is Joseph McCarthy's picture in this article at all??? He is not even referenced by the article, directly or indirectly. 167.176.16.8 (talk) 14:55, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The article should be written without any examples. I could re-write this article using nothing but liberal/communist examples and it would work even better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.234.60.138 (talk) 02:53, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Nonsense[edit]

Please, somebody tell me wtf this is supposed to mean:

"The 1960s–70s anti-war movement protesting the ten-year US–Vietnam War (1963–1973), not revealed in The Pentagon Papers (1971), manifested its pro-intellectualism against US defense secretary Robert McNamara, whose business school intellectualism manifested itself in that war’s published body counts, a feature of attrition warfare, a military strategy applied when conquest is infeasible." DigitalHoodoo (talk) 15:14, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I hope to improve this page soon[edit]

The entire article reads like a mediocre senior thesis at a mediocre university. I pulled it up because I am now working on a book that includes anti-intellectualism among its topics. My extensive college notes on this subject are in storage, and I figured I would punt to Wikipedia as a shortcut. Well, I guess I instead identified an area where I might be able to contribute.

I think that once I find my notes, or do additional research for my own project, I will be able to fix some of the problems with this article. I will put it on my watchlist, I guess - I have not done much other than sporadic corrections. But I hope to adopt this article and make it better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Raresilk (talkcontribs) 17:27, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Needs more history?[edit]

I can't say that I know much about this subject, but shouldn't this article contain more about the history of anti-intellectualism? This is probably the most disorganized, and hard to follow Wikipedia article I've ever read. Shouldn't there be something in here about Galileo (besides the picture). I see that there's also a picture of McCarthy here, and the communist "witch-hunt" might be regarded as anti-intellectualism. Also, I think there should be more about current anti-intellectualism. E.g. the public's mistrust of science in regards to climate change, evolution, etc. If there's someone with a lot knowledge on this subject, please contribute, and restructure this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.30.194.35 (talk) 09:49, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

lede change[edit]

rm'ed

As a political adjective, 'anti-intellectual' variously describes an education system emphasising minimal academic accomplishment, and a government who formulate public policy without the advice of academics and their scholarship.[citation needed]

for spelling, POV, lack of support, etc. 72.228.177.92 (talk) 19:12, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

original research[edit]

In the 20th and 21st centuries section there is a critique of anti-intellectualism in Mormonism whose "source" is 18 selected quotes from sermons given by church leaders. The source is actually the material being critiqued, not a source that supports the critique itself. The Book of Mormon quote at the end may also be original research for similar reasons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.135.49.29 (talk) 15:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

narrow context[edit]

In the 20th and 21st centuries section in the critique of anti-intellectualism in Mormonism, there was a section saying that Anti-Intellectualism is ingrained in the Book of Mormon. This section then cited a verse from the Book of Mormon but ignored an earlier verse which tempers this statement. In the interest of neutrality I have added the previous verse as well and made appropriate adjustments to try and make the section feel more neutral. My changes may, or may not, need a bit more work to make them fit Wikipedia's standards, but the section felt more like an attempt to prove a bias than to report objectively. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 0x783czar (talkcontribs) 19:19, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Wiki or consevapedia?[edit]

The section on Grammar School is just weird. Some conservative parents have an opinion towards public education, therefore Vonnegut. Seems like an attempt at a slippery slope fallacy that falls short.

Then the part about how right-wing pundits feel towards universities? Some conspiracy theory about the CPUSA and 1930s American academia. Two Canadian professors write off all of feminism as anti-intellectual. also as another user mentioned before, the part about the Peace movement is off-puting, McNamara wore glasses therefore was hated because he was an intellectual? Ignoring the fact that the peace movement was based on college campuses and pioneered by their professors (Zinn, Chomsky...), if the animosity towards McNamara had any deeper ideological basis then it was anti-technocrat.

I don't know what the article was like previously, but it looks like someone with an ideological axe to grind came in and had their way. Another user on this talk page said the article was akin to a senior thesis, I'd agree, a senior citizen's thesis. (Lenerd (talk) 03:59, 3 March 2012 (UTC))

  • This Seems to be the case. The article has changed a lot - but not for the better, i'm ashamed to say.

File:Joseph Stalin.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Music?[edit]

The early punk movement comes to mind immediately as anti-intellectualism in musical form, and I'm sure there are other examples in some of the more anarchally-minded metal bands, and there's certainly an anti-intellectual rapper or three out there. A great deal of pop music is also intentionally unintelligent so as to appeal to the masses, though that may be entering WP:OR terrirory. Point is, anti-intellectualism certainly exists in music, yet there's no mention of it here. 143.92.1.32 (talk) 01:33, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Catholic Church[edit]

I expected to find a section about the "dark ages" in Europe before the enlightenment period. Much of the knowledge gained by the Greeks and Romans was lost during this period and further intellectual study was actively discouraged by the Catholic Church. European contact with the Arab world is generally regarded as having reintroduced much of this "lost" knowledge. People seeking new knowledge or asking difficult questions in the Middle Ages may weel have risked being labled as heritics. Some may even argue that the Catholic Church continues to promote anti-intellectual ideas, in particular in the way it promotes itself in Africa. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.195.109.225 (talk) 13:16, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

And the reason why is because your claims are false. 128.187.97.20 (talk) 19:45, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Sources quoted[edit]

Just a note, is there a reason that the quotes come from predominantly conservative sources? It would perhaps provide a more balanced picture if liberal critics of intellectualism could be quoted as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tgiesler (talkcontribs) 23:35, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

That would be because the right/conservatives is/are overrepresented in anti-intellectualism. While there have been prominent left-wing anti-intellectuals, their numbers pale in comparison to those coming from the right. There is a natural correlation between conservatism and anti-intellectualism, because challenges to the status quo are likely to come from intellectuals, making them natural enemies to the conservative aim of maintaining said status quo. 62.238.249.71 (talk) 11:19, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Citation overload[edit]

Do we actually need twenty cites after "speakers have rejected the idea that one can think intellectually about a religious matter since religion is of the heart and not the mind, and that one can't explain dealings of the heart". That string of blue superscript really does break the flow quite brutally. 143.92.1.32 (talk) 22:52, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

Based on the tag, I reviewed the article and found it generally in extremely bad shape. It reads like a polemic, with lots of tangential and unrelated rabbit holes being explored, often without sources, dubious sources, or sources which do not represent the content in the article. I've gone ahead and pruned some of the most egregious content. If there is any section which someone feels should be restored, and improved upon, please feel free to restore it and open a discussion about that section on the talk page. aprock (talk) 23:24, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Good (and brave!) edits. When I originally read parts of this article, I wondered if I was really reading what I was reading, seemingly implying that anti-intellectuals were all uneducated dunces who listen to right-wing AM radio jocks and shoot people wearing eyeglasses, but I didn't feel brave enough, or qualified enough to prune it myself. I'm flattered that my own edits seem to have survived largely intact. However, I've decided to prune some of them too as they seem a bit out on a limb, not really supporting the article. They needed either expanding (as I tagged at the time), or removing, and I've decided to do the latter. I removed the section on George Orwell, which was dubious because George Orwell was not anti-intellectual per se, and this article deals, or should deal, with anti-intellectualism as a concept, or ideology. It could find use on the criticism section on the Intellectual article, however. I also removed the part on "Youth Culture" as that seems to be based almost entirely on supposition. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 22:50, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Boko Haram[edit]

Can be considered anti-intellectual in a militant way. Usually targets (western) education and knowledge. -- 213.240.90.164 (talk) 20:25, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

China - please clarify "Qin Empire kept every one copy of these books" | (Oct. 2014)[edit]

Could someone please clarify what does this mean...

"However, upon further inspection of Chinese historical annals like Shi Ji and Han Shu, this was not the case. The Qin Empire kept every one copy of these books in the Imperial Library; ordered that the books should be banned in public. Thus, everyone who was stashing these works were given an appointed time to submit the books to be burned; anyone who violated this command were executed."

Thanks.98.236.50.229 (talk) 23:58, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Main Article Image[edit]

Can anyone verify that the main image was actually done by Thomas Nast. I cannot and I would like to see the citation. 67.244.42.35 (talk) 22:13, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Street-smart vs. book-smart, and sciences vs. "arts"[edit]

Some material should be added relating to the popular American attitude of street-smart vs. book-smart, usually in a disparaging tone towards the latter, insinuating that you can't learn anything useful from books or make good use of any obscure "book-smart" fields (the whole issue of what's a actually "good use" to begin with would also be a pretty fruitful question when analyzing anti-intellectualism). Plus there's also the fact that the Anglo-American educational system makes a difference between "hard" sciences (mainly the natural sciences) and the "soft" sciences (especially the humanities), often even denying the latter the name of a science and only allowing them to call themselves "arts". If you can't objectively measure it, discretely quantify it as on-off or ones and zeroes, build weapons with it, or generally make a lot of money with it by only applying mind-numbingly mechanical rules taken from the natural sciences, it's called but an "art".

The social sciences, for example, only lately managed to evade that denigrating label of a bundle of "soft" sciences by adopting the essentialist and positivist methods of the natural sciences and/or even effectively submitting at least in parts directly to purely biologically-determinated and bio-chemical views on society and psychology, where genes, hormones, and neurology now take the place of what once where "blood" (in the meaning of familial and ethnic descent, where character traits were considered congenital and hereditary) and skull size and shape, in phrenology and eugenics. --2003:56:6D1B:C655:3418:D2A4:37E9:FDA9 (talk) 08:50, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Jumbles Mess[edit]

This article is unorganized and worthless as a source of information on the subject. Other than an entire rewriting, I do not know any solution to the problem. It is a divisive subject, but that is not an excuse for an encyclopedic article to seem so all over the place, biased one way and then the other, attacking one thing here and asserting the same thing as absolute there, really, I have never been so shocked. The talk page is likewise lacking any notion of cohesion, but is a list of sweet nothings dedicated to oblivion. Perhaps the concept that good faith is assumed is not possible given the subject. I would even go so far as to suggest that the entire article be deleted if it cannot be fixed. JanetWand (talk) 17:54, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Arab World[edit]

Shouldn't the article include Al Ghazali and how his reform of Islam affected the scientific progress in Islamic world> Wasn't the Arab world kind of anti-intellectual and anti-science after him? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 104.33.83.206 (talk) 09:26, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

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What, no Anti-Intellectualism in USA since 19th century?[edit]

Hi folks - this is a major oversight. Anti-intellectualism is alive and well under climate change denialism in the USA right now! John D. Croft (talk) 09:52, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Future sources for editing[edit]

Williams, Ray. "Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America." Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 07 July 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

Niose, David. "Anti-Intellectualism Is Killing America." Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 23 June 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

Berezow, Alex. "Anti-Intellectualism Is Biggest Threat to Modern Society." American Council on Science and Health. American Council on Science and Health, 26 June 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

Barry, Glenn, Dr. "Anti-Intellectual Voters in America's Heartland Ensure Abrupt Climate Collapse." EcoInternet. EcoInternet, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

Paigepietras (talk) 00:56, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

bibliography potential[edit]

Shogan, Colleen J. “Anti-Intellectualism in the Modern Presidency: A Republican Populism.” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 295–303. www.jstor.org/stable/20446425.

CLAUSSEN, DANE S. “A Brief History of Anti-Intellectualism in American Media.” Academe, vol. 97, no. 3, 2011, pp. 8–13. www.jstor.org/stable/23024646.

Giroux, Susan Searls. “The Age of Unreason: Race and the Drama of American Anti-Intellectualism.” JAC, vol. 29, no. 1/2, 2009, pp. 295–352. www.jstor.org/stable/20866903. Jennyaranda24 (talk) 22:47, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Outsider Articles to Cite[edit]

I noticed in the section about the United states and how anti-intellectualism has affected the growth of the nation they only have paragraphs on the seventeenth and nineteenth century. In articles such as Anti-intellectualism is Killing America (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201506/anti-intellectualism-is-killing-america) they discuss the affects of today. In general I believe more citations to specific articles could be made to prove the growths and affects of anti-intellectualism in westernized civilizations. 

Katiasasha4 (talk) 05:04, 23 February 2017 (UTC) Katia Davila


Peer Review[edit]

I think that this article could use more sources to allow more clarity for the reader and just to be able to have some more background about the subject as a whole. I think overall this page is well done and will be improved by the student editors.

Elcheney1997 (talk) 05:48, 23 February 2017 (UTC)Emma Cheney

Peer Review[edit]

Well written overall, however there are some small issues. The most predominant being the diction utilized. I found that a lot of the writing utilized incredibly vague words, occasionally even creating hyperlink on the word leading to a page that gives it definition. This implies that the author was a aware of the lack of common understanding of the words chosen, and perhaps this could be simplified for clarify. Besides that very good. Cameronjbird (talk) 18:42, 2 March 2017 (UTC)


"In the rural U.S., anti-intellectualism is an essential feature of the religious culture of Christian fundamentalism."

That seems unnecessarily harsh and frankly anti-christian.68.198.106.46 (talk) 15:21, 10 August 2017 (UTC)