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  1. #1
    Hong Kong Chinese Guest

    What is an intellectual?

    I’d like to know the definition of an intellectual?

    From the definition of Merriam-Webster:
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionar...y&va=intellect

    It just means that the one who understands

    But from Cambridge:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...1289&dict=CALD


    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...1289&dict=CALD

    It means those who think of and understand complicated ideas.

    If I have no formal education, and if I can think of and understand complicate ideas, can I call myself an intellectual?

    Teachers, please enlighten me!

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Here is MSN Encarta's definition of intellectual:
    • intelligent person: somebody with a highly developed ability to reason and understand, especially if also well educated and interested in the arts or sciences or enjoying activities involving serious mental effort


      [15th century. Via Old French from late Latin intellectualis , from intellectus “intellect,” from intellegere “to perceive”
      http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/featur...fid=1861621689


    We had this question on the Delphi forum. I wish I could remember what I said. :(

    I am sure others will make contributions to this discussion.

    :)

  3. #3
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    I agree with you.
    However, let me share my knowledge.

    Intellectual: a person who is well educated and enjoys activities ( such as culture and what RonBee mentioned before) in which they have to think seriously about things in a logical way.

    8)

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: What is an intellectual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hong Kong Chinese
    I’d like to know the definition of an intellectual?

    From the definition of Merriam-Webster:
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionar...y&va=intellect

    It just means that the one who understands

    But from Cambridge:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...1289&dict=CALD


    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...1289&dict=CALD

    It means those who think of and understand complicated ideas.

    If I have no formal education, and if I can think of and understand complicate ideas, can I call myself an intellectual?

    Teachers, please enlighten me!
    Being an intellectual is not dependent, necessarily, on education, imho.

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What is an intellectual?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Quote Originally Posted by Hong Kong Chinese
    I’d like to know the definition of an intellectual?

    From the definition of Merriam-Webster:
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionar...y&va=intellect

    It just means that the one who understands

    But from Cambridge:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...1289&dict=CALD


    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...1289&dict=CALD

    It means those who think of and understand complicated ideas.

    If I have no formal education, and if I can think of and understand complicate ideas, can I call myself an intellectual?

    Teachers, please enlighten me!
    Being an intellectual is not dependent, necessarily, on education, imho.
    It is not completely dependent on education, but education certainly helps. One can educate oneself, but it is very difficult. :wink:

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    That's why I added 'necessarily'. There are also the cases of those with a lot of education who think of themselves as intellectuals, but don't cut the mustard.

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    That's why I added 'necessarily'. There are also the cases of those with a lot of education who think of themselves as intellectuals, but don't cut the mustard.
    That is certainly true. :wink:

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