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Auguste Comte, the French philosopher who, amongst other things, coined the term “sociology”, had a large mirror above his writing desk, so he could pause to admire himself as he wrote. There is perhaps no better symbolic image of academic vanity than Comte’s mirror.

When I discovered this and shared it on Twitter, I received a response from @AviGoldberg, who wrote wryly: “Today, he’d check Twitter?”

Avi put his finger on something. In the digital age, has Twitter become a new medium for academic vanity – the digital equivalent of Comte’s mirror?

Read the full article over at Times Higher Education.

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