Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Michael McDevitt

Second Advisor

Michael Tracey

Third Advisor

Raphael Sassower

Abstract

This thesis is a qualitative, critical inquiry, which demarcates a new era of anti-intellectualism. By using think tanks as a heuristic device, two new conceptual terms, each meant to capture prevailing iterations of anti-intellectualism in contemporary society, are offered. Once established, a case study examines changes to the University of Colorado’s nondiscrimination policy. This provides insight into the ways this new era of anti-intellectualism and its new dimensions impact institutions of knowledge production. The corrupting influence of money and politics on the production of intellectual ideas has come to define modern anti-intellectualism, and the problematic impacts of this milieu are documented here. Ultimately, the production of politically or financially motivated ideas has contested more disinterested and intellectual knowledge production, leaving a field of perpetual inaction, as scientific controversies are settled, but politicians and citizens refuse to accept them based on partisan political grounds, a hyper-capitalist mindset, and the glaring influence of ideology.

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