Today I was accused by an enemy of mine of misusing the term “intellectual” by applying it to myself. That would only be valid if in fact someone could prove that I was not intellectual. First we need definitions of “intellectual”:
There are, broadly, three modern definitions at work in discussions about intellectuals. First, ‘intellectuals’ as those deeply involved in ideas, books, the life of the mind. Second, ‘intellectuals’ as a recognizable occupational class consisting of lecturers, professors, lawyers, doctors, scientist, engineers, etc. Third, cultural “intellectuals” are those of notable expertise in culture and the arts, expertise which allows them some cultural authority, and who then use that authority to speak in public on other matters.
Some people, including the one who attacked me today, seem to think that intellecuals must express no emotions, like the Vulcans of Star Trek. That strikes me as unrealistic, since all humans do have emotions. It is the combination of intellect and emotions in people that make their characters what they are. To call myself intellectual is hardly unethical, if one can read my writings and see for themselves what I am capable of.