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There is no getting around authority and power, and no getting around the intellectual's relationship to them. How does the intellectual address authority: as a professional supplicant or as its unrewarded, amateurish conscience? ~ Edward Said

An amateur, from French amateur "lover of", is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income.

QuotesEdit

Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith LecturesEdit

Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures

  • The intellectual's spirit as an amateur can enter and transform the merely professional routine most of us go through into something much more lively and radical; instead of doing what one is supposed to do one can ask why one does it, who benefits from it, how can it reconnect with a personal project and original thoughts.
    • p. 83
  • There is no getting around authority and power, and no getting around the intellectual's relationship to them. How does the intellectual address authority: as a professional supplicant or as its unrewarded, amateurish conscience?
    • p. 83
  • As a way of maintaining relative intellectual independence, having the attitude of an amateur instead of a professional is a better course.
    • p. 87
  • In the end, I am moved by causes and ideas that I can actually choose to support because they conform to values and principles that I believe in.
    • p. 88
  • Everything I have written in these lectures underlines the importance to the intellectual of passionate engagement, risk, exposure, commitment to principles, vulnerability in debating and being involved in worldly causes. For example, the difference I drew earlier between a professional and an amateur intellectual rests precisely on this, that the professional claims detachment on the basis of a profession and pretends to objectivity, whereas the amateur is moved neither by reward nor by the fulfillment of an immediate career plan but by a committed engagement with ideas and values in the public sphere.
    • p. 109

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