[Paleopsych] Foreign Policy: The Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals

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The Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals
Posted September 2005 [webOnly.gif]

[This is a difficult list. My choices, among those listed, would be 
Baudrillard, Eco, Geertz, Habermas, and E.O. Wilson, at least for their long 
term influence. James M. Buchanan, one of the Founding Fathers of Public Choice 
theory, would certainly qualify as influential, since nearly everyone now 
accepts the idea that politicians mostly aim to get reelected, though he is 
hardly an "public intellectual," who weighs in constantly on all the issues of 
the day. But, then, several of the ones I chose are not on the teevee talk 
circuit either. I'll have to think about it more and do my own voting. I'm not 
a fan of Geertz' studious avoidance of biology, for example, but that does not 
mean he has not been highly influential. Far from it.]

    Who are the world's leading public intellectuals? FP and Britain's
    Prospect magazine would like to know who you think makes the cut.
    We've selected our top 100, and want you to vote for your top five. If
    you don't see a name that you think deserves top honors, include them
    as a write-in candidate. Voting closes October 10, and the results
    will be posted the following month.

    Name Occupation Country

    Chinua Achebe Novelist Nigeria
    Jean Baudrillard Sociologist, cultural critic France
    Gary Becker Economist United States
    Pope Benedict XVI Religious leader Germany, Vatican
    Jagdish Bhagwati Economist India, United States
    Fernando Henrique Cardoso Sociologist, former president Brazil
    Noam Chomsky Linguist, author, activist United States
    J.M. Coetzee Novelist South Africa
    Gordon Conway Agricultural ecologist Britain
    Robert Cooper Diplomat, writer Britain
    Richard Dawkins Biologist, polemicist Britain
    Hernando de Soto Economist Peru
    Pavol Demes Political analyst Slovakia
    Daniel Dennett Philosopher United States
    Kemal Dervis Economist Turkey
    Jared Diamond Biologist, physiologist, historian United States
    Freeman Dyson Physicist United States
    Shirin Ebadi Lawyer, human rights activist Iran
    Umberto Eco Medievalist, novelist Italy
    Paul Ekman Psychologist United States
    Fan Gang Economist China
    Niall Ferguson Historian Britain
    Alain Finkielkraut Essayist, philosopher France
    Thomas Friedman Journalist, author United States
    Francis Fukuyama Political scientist, author United States
    Gao Xingjian Novelist, playwright China
    Howard Gardner Psychologist United States
    Timothy Garton Ash Historian Britain
    Henry Louis Gates Jr. Scholar, cultural critic United States
    Clifford Geertz Anthropologist United States
    Neil Gershenfeld Physicist, computer scientist United States
    Anthony Giddens Sociologist Britain
    Germaine Greer Writer, academic Australia, Britain
    Jürgen Habermas Philosopher Germany
    Ha Jin Novelist China
    Václav Havel Playwright, statesman Czech Republic
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali Politician Somalia, Netherlands
    Christopher Hitchens Polemicist United States, Britain
    Eric Hobsbawm Historian Britain
    Robert Hughes Art critic Australia
    Samuel Huntington Political scientist United States
    Michael Ignatieff Writer, human rights theorist Canada
    Shintaro Ishihara Politician, author Japan
    Robert Kagan Author, political commentator United States
    Daniel Kahneman Psychologist Israel, United States
    Sergei Karaganov Foreign-policy analyst Russia
    Paul Kennedy Historian Britain, United States
    Gilles Kepel Scholar of Islam France
    Naomi Klein Journalist, author Canada
    Rem Koolhaas Architect Netherlands
    Enrique Krauze Historian Mexico
    Julia Kristeva Philosopher France
    Paul Krugman Economist, columnist United States
    Hans Küng Theologian Switzerland
    Jaron Lanier Virtual reality pioneer United States
    Lawrence Lessig Legal scholar United States
    Bernard Lewis Historian Britain, United States
    Bjørn Lomborg Environmentalist Denmark
    James Lovelock Scientist Britain
    Kishore Mahbubani Author, diplomat Singapore
    Ali Mazrui Political scientist Kenya
    Sunita Narain Environmentalist India
    Antonio Negri Philosopher, activist Italy
    Martha Nussbaum Philosopher United States
    Sari Nusseibeh Diplomat, philosopher Palestine
    Kenichi Ohmae Management theorist Japan
    Amos Oz Novelist Israel
    Camille Paglia Social critic, author United States
    Orhan Pamuk Novelist Turkey
    Steven Pinker Experimental psychologist Canada, United States
    Richard Posner Judge, scholar, author United States
    Pramoedya Ananta Toer Writer, dissident Indonesia
    Yusuf al-Qaradawi Cleric Egypt, Qatar
    Robert Putnam Political scientist United States
    Tariq Ramadan Scholar of Islam Switzerland
    Martin Rees Astrophysicist Britain
    Richard Rorty Philosopher United States
    Salman Rushdie Novelist, political commentator Britain, India
    Jeffrey Sachs Economist United States
    Elaine Scarry Literary theorist United States
    Amartya Sen Economist India
    Peter Singer Philosopher Australia
    Ali al-Sistani Cleric Iran, Iraq
    Peter Sloterdijk Philosopher Germany
    Abdolkarim Soroush Religious theorist Iran
    Wole Soyinka Playwright, activist Nigeria
    Lawrence Summers Economist, academic United States
    Mario Vargas Llosa Novelist, politician Peru
    Harold Varmus Medical scientist United States
    Craig Venter Biologist, businessman United States
    Michael Walzer Political theorist United States
    Florence Wambugu Plant Pathologist Kenya
    Wang Jisi Foreign-policy analyst China
    Steven Weinberg Physicist United States
    E.O. Wilson Biologist United States
    James Q. Wilson Criminologist United States
    Paul Wolfowitz Policymaker, academic United States
    Fareed Zakaria Journalist, author United States
    Zheng Bijian Political scientist China
    Slavoj Zizek Sociologist, philosopher Slovenia

    4. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/redirect/6236.php


    The irony of this "thinkers" list is that it does not bear thinking
    about too closely. The problems of definition and judgment that it
    involves would discourage more rigorous souls. But some criteria must
    be spelled out. What is a public intellectual? Someone who has shown
    distinction in their own field along with the ability to communicate
    ideas and influence debate outside of it.

    Candidates must have been alive, and still active in public life
    (though many on this list are past their prime). Such criteria ruled
    out the likes of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Milton Friedman, who would
    have been automatic inclusions 20 or so years ago. This list is about
    public influence, not intrinsic achievement. And that is where things
    get really tricky. Judging influence is hard enough inside one's own
    culture, but when you are peering across cultures and languages, the
    problem becomes far harder. Obviously our list of 100 has been
    influenced by where most of us sit, in the English-speaking West.

    We tried to avoid the "box ticking" problem of having x Chinese, y
    economists and z under-50s. But we have also tried to give due weight
    to the important thinkers in all the main intellectual disciplines and
    centers of population. We also tried to ensure that all names on the
    list are influential in at least a few countries in their region, if
    not the entire globe. We may not have succeeded in following all these
    rules to the letter, but for those of you irritated by our choices,
    there is a small safety valve--a write-in vote that allows you to
    nominate a name that wasn't included on our list.

    -- Prospect and Foreign Policy

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