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The Intellectual: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking... Hardcover – 3 Mar 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd; 1st Edition edition (3 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840466537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840466539
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,311,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Reading Steve Fuller is like reading Umberto Eco on speed." -- Jeff Hughes, author of The Manhattan Project

'Reading Steve Fuller is like reading Umberto Eco on speed’ -- Jeff Hughes, author of The Manhattan Project

'Zooms at various crazy angles through the history of ideas … An entertaining manifesto’ -- Guardian

‘I devoured this in one sitting … It’s packed with juicy nuggets of genuine intellectual nourishment on every page’ -- Dylan Evans

About the Author

Steve Fuller is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At first I thought this book was going to be a piss-take, especially if you look at the way it's been marketed. However, it's really a very witty and serious defence of the intellectual in today's world. Fuller seems to be especially riled by the craven nature of academic life -- and how that stifles intellectual activity. He is also very hard on politicians (like Blair) who abdicate their intellectual responsibility, though Fuller is much softer on journalists.
The book features a very amusing and informative dialogue between 'The Intellectual' and 'The Philosopher', each of whom appears as the evil twin of the other.
The book ends with a FAQ section which really attempts to address the sorts of issues an aspiring intellectual might want to know about. Clearly, the life of the intellectual is not for the squeamish -- at least as Fuller portrays it -- but it's a life worth living.
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Format: Paperback
Steve Fuller's compact but high octane look at the motivations and perspectives of intellectuals is very enjoyable indeed. This book is full of stimulating insights. There are 3 main sections: a general introduction to the intellectual and his methods, an imaginary conversation between a philosopher and an intellectual (to highlight the differences), and finally a question and answer session which serves to fill in whatever blanks remain. It is a very good format and makes for a quick, lively read. So if you've ever wondered what separates the Chomskies, Hitchens, Greers, Galileos, Dawkinses and so on from the rest of the world, this book is definitely for you. It is also refreshingly inexpensive. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
Luckily, I didn't buy this book - I read it in my university library. It's not at all what I expected from the title and description (although later, having heard Steve Fuller debating, I was not surprised).

Fuller discusses 'truth', 'power', 'thinking', etc. but makes no attempt at all to define these terms - let alone to engage with the varied and interesting debate surrounding these ideas. He does not bother to generate any arguments, expand the boundaries of knowledge, engage with real debates and ideas, or even present existing theories in an interesting way. His 'arguments' are loose, winding, and often either ridiculous or exceedingly obvious. Where you can find a train of thought, which is rare, it is a subject that has inevitably been discussed at length, and with far greater eloquence, elsewhere. As a result, much of the book is tedious, outlandish, and at worst, nonsensical. I find it difficult to understand why anyone enjoyed this book. I can only imagine that they were swayed by the self-satisfaction and smugness that Fuller attempts to extend to his readers.

This is not a serious book, and I do not recommend it at all. Anyone with a very basic knowledge of philosophy will recognise it to be completely nonsensical. And beginners would do far better elsewhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x883cc168) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x873e46cc) out of 5 stars Primer for Troublemakers 3 Mar. 2006
By John Brewer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is supposed to be modelled on Machiavelli's The Prince, and it does share some of its aphoristic style. However, what's most like the original is the bluntness with which Fuller deals with the intellectual pretensions of academics. He seems to think that most of the intellectual action in today's world has migrated off campus, as academics have remained mired in their powergames. But he clearly wants intellectuals to have spent some time in the Ivory Tower to get the needed forms of mental agility. The dialogue in the mid-section of the book is aimed mostly at philosophers but the last third of the book is a set of very useful FAQs.
HASH(0x873e472c) out of 5 stars The intellectual 4 Feb. 2013
By b.h.abel - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prompt delivery, great condition, excellent content.
I recommend this book for anyone who wants an objective comparison of the different categories of intellectuals. Some parts need serious reflection to absorb. Written in the style of Machiavelli's "The Prince".
HASH(0x87afb084) out of 5 stars Three Stars 28 Feb. 2015
By booklover - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A rambling journey of pedagogic arguments.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8894d294) out of 5 stars Steve Fuller's The Intellectual 23 Dec. 2011
By James Lee Turpen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fuller answered all the unasked questions that were creeping in the shadows of my brain. If you fancy yourself a thinking (wo)man, treat yourself to this book. For everyone else - ideas are trying to impregnate your mind; take off the prophylactic and let them in.
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