Ivan Illich, 76, Philosopher Who Challenged Status Quo, is Dead


| December 11, 2002 Issue

Ivan Illich - sociologist, former priest, thinker on issues of technology, education, religion, and science, died Monday, December 2 at the age of 76. A scholar and author, Illich held degrees in theology, history, and chemistry, and was a professor at various colleges. Illich is probably most widely known for his book Deschooling Society, in which he argues that compulsory education is more successful at perpetuating systems of inequality than it is at inspiring scholarship or creating democratic citizens.

Illich made radical critiques of the institutionalization of religion and science, and of society's worship of technology and development. He once said, "In an age that denies death and deforms reality, simple acts of kindness, personal relations bound by friendship, are celebrations of sense - the embrace, the kiss, the face-to-face conversation - in a sense-less world of artificial intelligence and electronic communities."
--Erica Sagrans



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