how do you define an intellectual ?

I was reading a couple of emails on design research and that reminds me of a designer who told me that he didn’t think that citing references = an intellectual. He is right on that part. A couple of PhD students also modestly told me that they do not think they are intellectuals but more on being persistant in pursuing a doctorate degree. So how would you define an intellectual ?

An intellectual is someone who thinks they’re smarter than they are.

I should know. I am one.

I don’t really understand your question. Why does it matter how would I define it? I’m not going to create a new definition for “intellectual”. In any case, I would go and check it in the dictionary.

I might be wrong, but maybe you are trying to ask something else. Can you give more details?

Thare are basically three different kinds of people:
-People who think.
-People who do.
People who THINK have lots of great ideas but in most cases, they don´t realize them. They are called Intelectuals.
Pople who DO, are in most cases Engineers. They really know how to do stuff but they can´t think very well.
Off course, there is the third kind of people, who don´t THINK and don´t DO nothing…They are just average normal people and 96% of the global population.

Sorry that you’ve found my post unclear. Well I was thinking about design papers and theories then; and was questioning the worth of between theory and the actual realisation of ideas. As one senior designer has put it, citing references is not considered an intellectual. Unless there is new findings / insights to a problem. I don’t think all doctorates are smart. But there are alot of such people who despise non-docs who could give interesting views and invent new ways of thinking.

To me, ann intellectual is one who knows what they should look at and how to implement different methods to solve a particular problem. To do that, you need to be very receptive, non-dogmatic, and genuinely learning something for the sake of learning.

But in reality we lack this kind of people. People do PhDs, or do research for material reasons. Other than that, most people see getting a PhD as an ‘intellectual’ attainment, which is really not.

I agree on the part that most people do not think.
Wonder why science says that the human race are first class animals who are the brightest.

We make an awful lot of blunders, do we ?

Horrid monsters we are really…

I hope I am not such a monster.

:wink:

you are an interesting person.

A little dry on replies but basically a very nice person.

All people think, all people do, all people design, all people build but at vairing ablilties. Your answer says a huge ammount about you rafe, not good things either.

“All people think, all people do, all people design, all people build but at vairing ablilties. Your answer says a huge ammount about you rafe, not good things either”

Unfortunatelly this theory is not mine…I am a very nice an optimistic guy indeed.
It is a very basic view from the divisions of the society.
People who think (intellectuals 1%) are on the top of the piramid, people who do (Executives 3%), are in the top of the piramid too, but right below the Intellectuals.
Average people (don´t think and don´t do 96%) are on the base of the piramid and are manipulated by the othet 4%.
I can´t really remember who did this theory but you can check it out in a great book called “Brave new world”, a dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley, first published in 1932.

I am so sorry if I heart your feelings!
Cheers,
Rafe.
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I speak portuguese.

Why an optimist would bring a dystopian novel up? Odd.

I strongly disagree w/ that point of view ( first of all the world has moved on since 1932…it’s just outdated), it’s horribly classist, everybody thinks/designs/makes etc. as zippy’s said “at vairing ablilties” and some people have a better grasp at understanding Kant, some people aren’t.

All people are intelligent, in different ways, in different fields. 96% of people DO everything to allow other 4% to EXIST. It’s incredibly offensive to suggest that an overwhelming majority of people don’t matter because they don’t philosophize about the “big important smart things”.

Including all of us, incredibly privileged people, who can afford computers, access to internet, free time to sit down and think “Gee… what IS an intellectual? Hmmm.”

I stick to the dictionary definition. And I’m not going to nitpick, who is an intelelctual and who is merely pursuing a phd.

brave ne world was a novel, not a very good one at that. You didnt hurt my feelings at all, however your use of that quote says volumes to me about a perception of class that is common in some countries.

What countries?

Sadly many, most that had a patrican class in the last couple of hundred years, people born to status rather than achiving it. In the USA you have people that write off people on the baisis of race, or economic standing “poor white trash”. If you look at history though supreamly smart, and accomplised people cover all races, creeds, economic start points and cultures, its in our DNA. Some are given the chance (or make that chance) to express it on a wider stage others are not.

word up. the potential is in each of us to do great things…

Well I was thinking about design papers and theories then; and was questioning the worth of between theory and the actual realisation of ideas. As one senior designer has put it, citing references is not considered an intellectual. Unless there is new findings / insights to a problem. I don’t think all doctorates are smart. But there are alot of such people who despise non-docs who could give interesting views and invent new ways of thinking.

To me, ann intellectual is one who knows what they should look at and how to implement different methods to solve a particular problem. To do that, you need to be very receptive, non-dogmatic, and genuinely learning something for the sake of learning.

But in reality we lack this kind of people. People do PhDs, or do research for material reasons. Other than that, most people see getting a PhD as an ‘intellectual’ attainment, which is really not.

those are big generalizations there don’t you think? there is a place for theories; oft times that is how we get to the realizations…the gathering of different sources of information is just the continual building upon the knowledge others have acquired and using it to come to tour own conclusion, which may indeed be similar to another’s…

Classification of people has been in existence in nature. Its in our human civilization too.
It probably won’t change too much. But what it can be
changed is that people should be more aware that intellectuals are also dependent on other people too. I agree with 'melovecookies. Everyone has something to learn from everyone. I don’t know how Confucius is taken in the States, but there is a saying that means you could
learn something from every class of people.

well, this is a forum for reflections. I use small pockets of time here and there to post. Sometimes doing it during meal times.

As for generalizations, if i have more time, i could be more detailed…

Yea, things like saying “every class of people” are kinda frowned upon.

How would you classify people? Break them up in groups based on race? Skin color? Occupation? Wealth? Or in this case perceived intelligence level? How do you validate your judgment?

If some people identify themselves as “intellectuals”, or you want to call somebody an “intellectual” that’s all right, but touting “intellectuals” as somewhat superior to other “classes” and the whole notion of “classes” is just eww.

Nature doesn’t classify people. People do. And because it’s been going on for ages doesn’t make it right. Or fair. Often, classification leads to stereotyping and prejudice. And the prejudice leads to a lot of other bad things.

Sorry, anti-egalitarian views get my panties in a bunch.

So are you saying that people from some areas of the world are smarter than others, this is a discussion of intelegence after all. Classification of people into “types” or “races” is more cultural shorthand not science. Science shows that geneticaly we are all the same species and science has show that given proper nutrition and early stage eductaion we all have for the most part the same mental potential. Some rare folk have a “genuis” in certain things, they are very rare and come from all “races”. Geneticly we are all decendent from a group of about 15000 homosapians.

confusius was ok, nice general guidelines, i prefer lazaurs long myself…more pragmatic.

???

did I say I classify people ???
I did say classification has been in existence. But I never said I classify people !

Why do I say Nature classify people ? Some people are born disadvantaged because they are born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They don’t choose to be born disabled, or with an inborn dediciency.
I think in that respect it has to be by nature and not by people.


Intellectuals create knowledge. Tries to understand the viewpoints of all people and not jump into conlusions too.

another one !

I just wrote in general. I did not say ‘I believe in classification’.
I just observe the situation that classification appears to be the case. Its hard to change as it is what most humans do.Even nature does that. Why do you think there are people who want to control other people and keep the power. And why people like to hold on to power and differentiate between people in terms of the coloour of the skin, language and religion ?

I have heard a lot of people classfying people interms of class and some from Asians:

They put whites as first class,
North asians as 2nd,
South east asians as 3rd
Africans as 4th.

Its rediculous !

In a way nature differentiates people too.
Otherwise, there will be no such thing as beautiful and ugly, physically abled and disabled, etc.

Its all very cruel you know !

The part in bold gave me a good laugh this morning, thanks for that. If you observing classifactions your being superficial, but hey your young yet so who knows you might become deeper in time.