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4 Ways of Identifying Pseudo-Intellectuals

Updated: Jul 2, 2023



I have created a way for you to identify pseudo-intellectuals through a series of components. The more dominant these components are, the more likely it is that these individuals are not pretending to be intellectuals, making them more reliable.


1. Logical consistency: One of the greatest traits that distinguishes intellectuals from the rest is that they are more logic-driven than emotion-driven. They base their arguments on logical consistency rather than on a momentary subjective state of mind. True intellectuals also attempt to avoid as many logical fallacies as possible when engaging in their intellectual endeavors.


2. Complex communication: The speech of intellectuals is more fluent, more complex, and more vivid than that of non-intellectuals. They can create more complex sentences at greater periods of time than non-intellectuals. Additionally, intellectuals are able to better understand complex communication than non-intellectuals, making them have an easier time comprehending complex and more abstract concepts and phenomena.

The communicative richness of intellectuals may lead to the common misconception that they are arrogant by nature. This is false, even though there are some intellectuals who are indeed arrogant, meaning that they see themselves as superior to others due to their merits. Complex communication comes not only in speech but in other forms of communication as well, such as writing and composing vivid and quality music.


3. Increasing Awareness: Intellectuals are generally well-informed about a wide range of subjects, even if they are not formally trained or certified in those subjects. This is because intellectuals dedicate much of their time and energy to studying and researching different topics, and they form their own opinions based on the information they have gathered from a variety of sources. As a result, intellectuals have a more varied and extensive knowledge base than those who do not research or contemplate the subjects they talk about.


The intellectual, while does not necessarily have a degree in their field of interest, might nevertheless seek knowledge about said field from various sources and will not satisfy their "mental hunger" from just one source or one authority of that field. Likewise, I recommend for you to read not only my site but also those of others.


4. Competent Debating: The strength of an intellectual can be tested in debate, just as the strength of a warrior is tested in combat. This is a good way to validate whether someone is truly an intellectual or an attention-seeking impostor. An intellectual is generally better at debating than a non-intellectual, as they are more likely to be consistent in their logic, communicate effectively, and be aware of what they are talking about.


Pseudo-intellectuals, on the other hand, are often inconsistent in their logic, communicate ineffectively, and are unaware of what they are talking about. They are also more likely to be unwilling to admit when they are wrong.


True intellectuals, on the other hand, are always willing to admit when they are wrong. They understand that it is more important to learn and grow than to win an argument. This is why it is important to be okay with being wrong, as mistakes can be used as opportunities to learn.


An Example of Pseudo-Intellectuals


If you want to see an example of pseudo-intellectuals, I suggest you check out the Buddhism Hotline on YouTube. The main host of the hotline is the author of a 15-page book that he sells for $40. He calls himself a "prophet of Buddhism" but teaches nothing about the religion. Instead, he tells people that they are going to hell for supporting Trump, being gay, or playing video games.


It is unclear whether the host of the Buddhism Hotline is simply acting for donations or if he is a genuine pseudo-intellectual. I believe it to be a parody. Nonetheless, his streams are a good example of how pseudo-intellectuals operate. They use their knowledge to manipulate and control others, rather than to educate and enlighten them. Moreover, they may claim that they know what they do not.

You can call me a pseudo-intellectual if you like, but I would like to point out that those who dedicate their lives to something, like philosophizing, do not do so out of pretentiousness when their intention is sincere. My primary goal in my intellectual endeavors is not to achieve great reputation, but to gain insights that I can share with the world and thus contribute to it in my own way.


If that is not an altruistic use of intellect, I do not know what is. In the end, the pseudo-intellectual cares little for their findings - they just want to be seen as greatly distinct from other people; something which I do not. For me, this website is a job like any other; the only difference is that it is a job that genuinely makes me happy (and some of you too, I hope).

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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