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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Public Intellectuals

I have long been fascinated by the idea of "public intellectuals" after reading Paul Johnson's Intellectuals. Foreign Policy has a new poll to select the Top 5 public intellectuals. They list 100 people from around the world and from different fields to choose from.

There were two things that jumped out at me about their list of 100. The first was that there are no evangelical Christians on the list. I am sure that some will use this to bolster their contention that Christians are continually persectuted but I tend to think of less nefarious reasons. The sad fact is that there are very few Christian intellectuals that have a large influence upon a wide audience.

Secondly, I was a bit mystified by the inclusion of some that I would not consider to be an "intellectual". Since when is Paul Krugman considered a public intellectual? Or Naomi Klein? Or Paul Wolfowitz? While each of these (and some others on the list) have a wide public influence, I would not consider them to be intellectuals.

So I voted for the following as my top five. And just as FP did, I'd like to hear from my readers who they would add to the list of 100 that was left off.

Hernando De Soto

Richard Rorty

James Q. Wilson

Freeman Dyson

Camille Paglia

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