And what in the hell are they anyway? Been a long standing interest of mine, mostly as something I get annoyed about, and it took me way too long to make the distinction between intellectuals and academics. Some recent blog posts on the subject that you good people (both of you) might want to read. First, Duncan’s typology of the role of left intellectuals. Second, these three posts about, in a sense, the degree to which it makes to sense to call some recent academic theoretical and literary writing “left” in a meaningful sense (as opposed, perhaps, to calling it ‘fellow traveler’ writing). Aside from my agreement with the gist of the posts (in all fairness I’ve not read the books in question so I should reserve final judgment, but the spirit of the posts seems to me in line with what Jasper in the discussion here called my vigorous skepticism – perhaps my own version of the despair discussed in the above posts? – on these matters), I think these posts are worth reading for the writing alone.