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My favorite definition of an intellectual

by on March 14, 2009

“An intellectual is one who loves ideas, is dedicated to clarifying them, developing them, criticizing them, turning them over and over, seeing their implications, stacking them atop one another, arranging them, sitting silent while new ideas pop up and old ones seem to rearrange themselves, playing with them, punning with their terminology, laughing at them, watching them clash, picking up the pieces, starting over, judging them, withholding judgment about them, changing them, bringing them into contact with their counterparts in other systems of thought, inviting them to dine and have a ball but also suiting them for service in workday life.”

“A Christian intellectual is all of the above to the glory of God”

James Sire, Habits of the Mind


From → Philosophy

One Comment
  1. John Zahn permalink

    I don’t consider myself and intellectual, but this description perfectly captures what is going on inside my head all the time.
    The last observation is what I find to be the most difficult personally. Not because I don’t believe, but because I am weak and afraid.

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