Intellectualism is any of a number of views regarding the use or development of the intellect or the practice of being an intellectual. [cite web
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] In non-specialized contexts, the term "intellectualism" is often used to describe an attitude of devotion or high regard for intellectual pursuits. [cite web
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title = Merriam-Webster
] The term is sometimes used to name the view in philosophy that is more often called "rationalism", the view that knowledge largely or wholly is derived from reason or reasoning.cite web
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title = HighBeam
(Oxford definition)] cite web
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title = Encarta
(Definition)] The term can carry negative connotations of two kinds: (1) single-mindedness or "too much attention to thinking" and/or (2) emotional coldness or the absence of emotion. [cite web
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title = Infoplease

Intellectualism in Ancient Moral Philosophy

One philosophical view called "intellectualism" or "Socratic intellectualism", said to originate with Socrates, is the view that "one will do what is right or best just as soon as one truly understands what is right or best." [cite web
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(Definition and note on Socrates)
] This is because on Socrates' view virtue is a purely intellectual matter, virtue is of a kind with knowledge.

The apparently problematic consequences of this view are called "Socratic paradoxes". Some things often taken to be Socratic paradoxes are the views that that there is no weakness of will, that no one knowingly does or seeks to do evil, and that anyone who does or seeks to do moral wrong does so involuntarily. Also controversial are the views that virtue is knowledge and that there aren't many virtues, but rather, all virtues are one.

Socratic intellectualism was a key doctrine of the Stoics.

Intellectualism in Medieval Metaphysical Philosophy

In medieval philosophy, intellectualism is a doctrine regarding divine and human action, usually described as contrasting with voluntarism, in which the faculty of the intellect is seen to take precedence to or have superiority over the faculty of will. "According to intellectualism, choices of the will result from that which the intellect recognizes as good; the will itself is determined. For voluntarism, by contrast, it is the will which determines which objects are good, and the will itself is indetermined." [cite web
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title = Voluntarism
publisher = Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Averroes, Aquinas, and Meister Eckhart are usually taken to be intellectualists of this sort.

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  • Intellectualism — In tel*lec tu*al*ism, n. 1. Intellectual power; intellectuality. [1913 Webster] 2. The doctrine that knowledge is derived from pure reason. [1913 Webster] 3. Preference for activities involving exercise of the intellect; sometimes, an excessive… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intellectualism — index comprehension Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • intellectualism — 1829; see INTELLECTUAL (Cf. intellectual) + ISM (Cf. ism). Probably based on Ger. Intellektualismus (said by Klein to have been coined 1803 by Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775 1854) from L.L. intellectualis). In English, originally… …   Etymology dictionary

  • intellectualism — [in΄tə lek′cho͞o əliz΄əm, int΄ l ek′cho͞o əliz΄əm] n. 1. the quality of being intellectual; devotion to intellectual pursuits 2. Philos. RATIONALISM (sense 2) intellectualist n. intellectualistic adj …   English World dictionary

  • Intellectualism — doctrine about the possibility of deriving knowledge from reason alone, intellectualism can stand for a general approach emphasising the importance of learning and logical thinking. Criticism of this attitude, sometimes summed up as Left Bank,… …   Mini philosophy glossary

  • intellectualism — noun Date: 1838 devotion to the exercise of intellect or to intellectual pursuits • intellectualist noun or adjective • intellectualistic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • intellectualism — intellectualist, n. intellectualistic, adj. intellectualistically, adv. /in tl ek chooh euh liz euhm/, n. 1. devotion to intellectual pursuits. 2. the exercise of the intellect. 3. excessive emphasis on abstract or intellectual matters, esp. with …   Universalium

  • intellectualism — noun a) The use or development of the intellect. b) The doctrine that knowledge is derived from pure reason. Syn: rationalism See Also: intellectualist …   Wiktionary

  • intellectualism — belief that all knowledge is derived from reason Philosophical Isms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • intellectualism — n. involvement in intellectual pursuits; use of the mind or intellect; doctrine which holds that pure reason is the source of knowledge (Philosophy) …   English contemporary dictionary

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