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Chapter 1 The Historical and Literary Context of the Argentine Public Intellectual

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Chapter Summary

Marcos Aguinis participates, both implicitly and explicitly, in complex local and global conversations regarding the message, role, and duty of public intellectuals as intermediaries between culture and politics, and as such, between the people and the state. This chapter explores the emergence of both the public intellectual and the public sphere as modern phenomena. It addresses historical and political theories regarding the manner in which ideas are transferred across boundaries and through history, which involves not simply the transference of ideas, but their adaptation according to local realities. The chapter engages in an analysis of four generations of Argentine public intellectuals, beginning with the Independence period, and exposes the dialogical methods and contributions of each to the ongoing definition of Argentine identity. As Ron Eyerman effectively argues, the public intellectual depends on both the constitution and maintenance of the public sphere as a forum for reflective and critical discourse.

Keywords: Argentine identity; Marcos Aguinis; public Intellectuals



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