There are highly intelligent people who appear to have no internal life
August 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
There are highly educated people who are not terribly intelligent. The ability to acquire a lot of facts is not the same as the ability to connect them in original and interesting ways. It is possible to have one and not the other. Half the academic books out there are proof of this theorem. Especially many in my favorite fields: history, philosophy, literature, art history, and literary criticism.
This theorem now has a corollary — and Słonimski and Voltaire are the proof — there are highly intelligent people who appear to have no internal life. I.e. their life happens entirely at the cafe, in print, in conversation. Notably, neither Voltaire nor Słonimski kept a journal intime.