Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is intellectual history?

American intellectual history is sometimes defined as the history of the people "who made a living by arguing" or the study of American intellectuals and their ideas. It is a field that emerged from philosophy, literary criticism, and political history. I define American intellectual history as the study of intellectuals (understanding the term intellectual as broadly construed) their ideas, and intellectual patterns within broad arenas of human thought such as religion, art, literature, and politics over time. This might include an examination of elites but also encompasses a history of popular assumptions, myths, beliefs, and moral panics within mass culture.

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