The Accusation of Intellectualism

16 01 2006

He accused me of being an intellectual. I must say, I was incensed from the moment it passed over his lips. How dare I be called one of those? I told him that I was most definitely not an intellectual, but he persisted. I left the conversation wondering if I was able to be called an intellectual or if I was instead holding to this proud idea that I was an anti-intellectual of sorts.

I began with looking up what it meant to be an intellectual. The dictionary states that it is one who is engaged in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect. I can’t argue with the fact that I enjoy stimulating conversations or even ones that have topics that are not related to sports teams in Pittsburgh. I must also concede that my coursework here at Grove City College is work that requires creative energy.

Perhaps my fear of being associated with those who are intellectual stems from my perception of who these people are. My personal opinion is that who these people are to me is decided by the topics of conversation that they force onto those around them. In my dealings with these people, they always want to make the conversations superficially un-superficial. They have an unhealthy obsession with hearing personal narratives and analyzing each situation. I might say that I am getting something to drink. Immediately, I am told that I am getting something to drink because my soul is thirsting after some 17th century philosopher who only drank goat milk while snacking on leopard’s liver. Unfortunately for these deep thinking intellectuals, I’m only getting a drink because I’m thirsty.



7 responses

21 01 2006

See that’s what YOU think. However, James, little do you know that your whole motivation behind your claimed “anti-intellectualism” is the desire to out-intellectualize those around you, carried out through a sophisticated (one might say, intellectual) version of reverse psychology. Shoot, now I’m thirsty.
PS you can check out my weblog at

24 01 2006

I win.


25 01 2006
Ryan Biese

James, I think you’re intellectual.

25 01 2006

James, I think you’re an idiot.

Do you like that better?–>

15 02 2008
i’m still not an intellectual « i’m a fan of postcards

[…] still not an intellectual 15 02 2008 Remember back in 2006 when I wrote on how I didn’t want to be an intellectual?  I still feel that […]

7 03 2012

You don’t like intellectual wannabes, not intellectuals. But intellectuals are really difficult to identify because, hey, who gets to come up with those terms and judge someone’s intellect?

30 05 2012
Joel Settecase (@JoelSettecase)

Thomas Aquinas does, that’s who.

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