Our favorite egghead

Foreign Policy and the Brit journal Prospect asked their readers to vote for their favorites among a pre-selected list of top 100 public intellectuals. The top five in order: Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, Richard Dawkins, Vaclav Havel, Christopher Hitchens.

A nice line-up except I'm not sure Hitchens -- putting his unfortunate views on subjects such as Iraq and Mother Teresa aside -- offers the breadth or substance in his intellectual work that compares to any one else on that list. He's been for the most part an erudite journalist, which is a valuable job in itself but not the kind that would make you one of the "world's leading minds."

Looking at the master list, it's clear that the criteria doesn't require candidates to be "intellectual" in the academic sense of the word, but surely someone in the top five ought to offer a worldview or perspective that adds a little something to the sum of human knowledge or understanding. [LINK via Hit and Run]


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