This word comes from the Greek, more specifically from polymátheia, which etymologically means broad knowledge. In this way, a person with a vast knowledge of different subjects is considered a polymath.
Three great polymaths: Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle and Thomas Jefferson
polymath is the domain of several areas of knowledge. A polymath can be a great connoisseur of many varied and unrelated topics. Obviously, few people have this particularity. Among them, we can highlight three characters: Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle and Thomas Jefferson. polymath
Leonardo is a man of the Renaissance and has the archetype of creative genius. His intellectual curiosity drives him to all kinds of subjects: engineering, design, architecture , philosophy, poetry, among other disciplines.
Aristotle also had great knowledge on any type of subject: logic, poetry, metaphysics , biology, politics , ethics and rhetoric. In all these areas he demonstrated great intellectual rigor.
Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States between 1801 and 1809. In addition to being a politician, he was considered a scholar of his time. He was an inventor, founded the University of Virginia, was one of the founding fathers of the United States and was dedicated to horticulture, archeology and music. He knew Greek, Latin and French and was professionally engaged in law.
Polymath versus specialization
A polymath is someone who has an infinite curiosity, therefore, an exceptional individual . Nowadays it is difficult to find people like Jefferson, Aristotle or Leonardo. As a general rule, intellectual concern is directed to a particular field of knowledge. Thus, compared to polymath of other times, we can highlight specialization as a general trend nowadays. polymath
Specialization has two different sides
It is positive because the individual who knows a subject in depth can become a successful professional in his field.
It is negative because exclusivity of knowledge may involve a certain degree of ignorance about issues of general culture. Naturally, the ideal would be to have a broad culture on different subjects and, at the same time, bet on specialization.
Fundamentals of Understanding Polymath
In addition to the immense curiosity about knowledge and the vast culture, polymaths are individuals who know how to think with creative approaches. In this sense, they are able to relate different types of knowledge or create new ideas from those already acquired. polymath