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April 17, 1955 - Image 17

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-04-17

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I Sunday, April 17, 1955



Page Nine

Intellectual Doesn't Crave 'Security,' Farne

By JIM DYGET frame of mind. A difference ac- tJITE AN OPPOSITE outlook is he thought, and of his real signifi- realize that, if you had enough in-
ON A UNIVERSITY campus counted for by an insecurity, a taken by the true intellectual, cance in history. telligence to ask him the questions,
tellecahera the temptation iaal- compulsion to keep intellectually who is not intent on impressing To the true intellectual, Plato is you would also have enough to
most irresistable to associate one- up with Jones, a need for reas- anyone with overt manifestations only a name designating a source know whether he was bluffing the
elsuperrsiale th siteea- urance on , o nea- of intelligence and knowledge. In- of ideas that will forever be more answers.
self superficially with intellectual- surance of one's mtellectualism, a stead, he has been convinced that significant than the man from
ism, both in his own mind and in mental disease that feeds upon it- not really hve much whom they came. The intellectuall aspect o
the ninds of his everyday con- self and stunts intellectual growth. knowledge, and, in relation to would rather be able to discuss pseudo- intellectualism is this: if,
tacts. One who already believes himself what there is to know, never will Plato's ideas without being able to when asked such questions (which
It is always much easier to de- an intellectual cannot be expected This realization does not cause, identify them as being Plato's than are illustrative of a gueral kid
ceive oneself into thinking he is to attempt to become one. Yet however, one moment's hesitation to be able to discuss Plato without of questioning and not peculiar to
an'snthere is no dividing line between P a' philosophy). the ped-n
an intellectual han actually to be in his search for knowledge, or being able to understand what ie Plato's pseudo-in-
one. Others, too, may be im- an intellectual and a pseudo-intel- truth' said. tellectual said he wasn t quite sure
pressed, if They are playing the lectual. One who embarks on a and would prefer to defer answer-
same delusive game with them- career of being one gets farther His search is governed by an OME pseudo - Intellectuals, of ing until he made a more careful
selves. It is easier to speak big and farther from being the other. assumption that whatever he course, are more convincing study, he would be very convincing
words than to understand them They are opposite outlooks to- learns today may ' e found wrong than others, which is merely a about his intellectualism. But the
It is easy to take for granted an- ward learning. or incomplete tomorrow. Thus he function of individual differences. fact of his pseudo-intellectualism
other's intellectualism if he is do- A pseudo-intellectual will col- is almost never dogmatic, but only Some can be tripped up with will not permit such a humility.
ing the same for you. lect impressive - sounding data when his emotion gets the better "What was Plato's basic philoso- The feelings of insecurity are too
This phenomenon can be termed only to reinforce the evidence he of his reason. phy?" or "How would you evalu- strong,
Pseudo-intellectualism. A true in- can present of his intellectualism. Probably the most vital distinc- ate his philosophy?" But othersI - - -
tellectual is never impressed by a He is not really interested in tion between the intellectual and might have to be asked, "Just W .UOMAUPS Wats
pseudo-intellectual. Pseudo - in- learning, he is already an "intel- the pseudo-intellectual is a dif- what do you mean when youW IVUla
tellectuals impress only pseudo-in- lectual." His outlook is one of pre- ference in emphasis on facts and speak of Plato's 'realm of ideas?'
tellectuals. A pseudo-intellectual tense, a superficial one of appear- ideas. To the pseudo-intellectual, A pseudo-intellectual would no WUOM is now the most power-
may be aware of the term 'pseudo- ance. Knowledge, to him, is not Plato is important because he was doubt attempt to answer such ful educational FM station in the
intellectual,'but e is unaware it ap- valuable for its own sake, but-only a great mind and it sounds good questioneg regardless of whether
plies to him. As a result, he can in its contribution to his own as- to be able to talk about him as if he knew the answers, because he Earlier this month, its power
never really distinguish between sumed "intellectualism." you were somewhat aware of what would not have enough sense to, was raised from 44,000 to 115,000
an intellectual and a pseudo-in-
A failure to distinguish the two
have led certain public figures
whose last intention is to consid-
er themselves intellectuals (and
are thus at least being honest with1*
themselves) to define an intellec- . .beaUfllybouff n ...
tual as "one who has learned too
much for his own good" and as
an "egghead.Floasna Formals,


er adequate for the pseudo-in-
tellectual, but certainly not for a
true intellectual. . little common
sense would distinguish between
the two, even if only surface evi-
dence is available, and basic dif-
ferences are not understood.
A pseudo-intellectual is invar-
lably much more concerned with
appearing intellectual than being
intellectual. A true intellectual
does not care a wit whether he
appears intellectual. This differ-
ence can be detected in behavior.
A pseudo-intellectual usually
possesses an inexhaustible reper-
toire of facts and references which
can easily overwhelm the uncau-
tious listener or reader. He can,
for instance, reflect with convinc-
ing authority upon the work of
John Milton or Karl Marx. But a
few searching questions would dis-
cover that he does not know what
they said, or, if he got that far, he
does not understand it. He has the
facts, but not their meanings, ex-
cept that he can quote from some
obscure source - ho must have
been famous for something, or elset
he would not be quoted. He can
tell you what he has read, but not
what he has thought, because he
has been too busy reading to have
time for thinking.
A TRUE intellectual, first of all,
would not allow himself a vul-
nerability to embarrassing ques-
tions. If he is not informed on a
subject, he will admit so immedi-
ately rather than attempt to bluff.
It seems obvious that true intel-
lectuals, quiet, unassuming people
who deal with ideas first and facts
second, or with facts only in re-
gard to their meanings, are not
plentiful, but rare. Pseudo-intel-
lectuals, on the other hand, are
all around us.
There is no intellectual insecuri-
ty in a true intellectual. He does
not uind it necessary to prove his
intellectualism to the world, and
thereby to himself. He is satisfied
that the world will know soon
enough, not that it matters any-
way. He will go on in his intellec-
tual pursuits unconcerned with'
notoriety, which ' will come his
way unsought.
In the final analysis, the pseudo-
intellectual deceives no one but
himself. Here is the real tragedy.
His life has been wasted in a false
intellectualism which kept him so
occupied in believing and proving
himself an intellectual that he Was
never free to become the true in-
tellectual he may very well have'
had the capacity '.f becoming,
BASICALLY, the difference is
one of attitude, of outlook, of

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