Intellectuals Quotes

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But Rousseau was the first to combine all the salient characteristics of the modern Promethean: the assertion of his right to reject the existing order in its entirety; confidence in his capacity to refashion it from the bottom in accordance with principles of his own devision; belief that this could be achieved by the political process; and not least, recognition of the huge part instinct, intuition and impulse play in human conduct. (Chapter 1, pg. 2)

Like Rousseau, Shelley believed that society was totally rotten and should be transformed, and that enlightened man, through his own unaided intellect, had the moral right and duty to reconstruct it from first principles. But he also argued that intellectuals, and especially poets - whom he saw as the leaders of the intellectual community - occupied a privileged position in this process. In fact, 'Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.' (Chapter...

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This section contains 886 words
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