What makes one an intellectual is the drive to learn, to question, to understand, to criticize, not as a means to an end but as an end to itself. An intellectual believes in criticism in the purest sense of the word, and understands that to be a critic is not necessarily to be an opponent; an intellectual, rather, is an observer willing and able to use rational faculties to distinguish wisdom from folly. An intellectual is necessarily a skeptic. To proclaim oneself an intellectual — admittedly an awkward act in our simplistic times — is to demand the right to doubt.
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This quote was added April 18, 2014.