Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tony Judt

A few months ago, I noted my admiration for historian Tony Judt's writing style and his comments on British education. His death last week after a long, painful, debilitating illness [ALS] led to many articles praising his life and work. One of the best in my view was in the Financial Times. I especially liked the statement he made about the duty of intellectuals to dissent, and yet not to be too sure of themselves.
His legacy and philosophy lie in his words, written and spoken: “I think intellectuals have a primary duty to dissent not from the conventional wisdom of the age (though that too) but, and above all, from the consensus of their own community.” In the same vein, he liked to quote Camus: “If there were a party of those who are not sure they are right, I’d belong to it.”
Don't you love that Camus quote?

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