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Polymathy forum > what does the word polymath mean to you?

What do you understand by the word polymath? Is it even the best word for someone who isn't a specialist and isn't a generalist? (who, unless polymathic, is usually just a manager of specialists, half in the dark himself, good with jargon and that's about it).

March 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Twigger

For years I considered the term to be reserved for the few like Da Vinci who excelled at so much. More recently I have become happier with the idea that it refers to those with a broad range of competence. Primarily because after years of trying to find out what I was really good at I discovered that I was really good at being competent to rather good at a very wide range of things. I think it could be very valuable to get more people to think like this. Especially the type of young people I teach who don't think they're good at anything when actually they're rather good at a lot of stuff. The trouble is that the system they're in (and to a degree, trendy ideologies like those of Sir Ken Robinson) are somewhat blinkered through obsession with the idea of 'element'.

March 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentered o'grady

Hi, Ed

I've just checked this Ken Robisnson at Wikipedia, so forgive my ignorance of the bulk of his theories --but ''the element'' (the special talent or vocation, the ''calling'' particular to every individual) doesn't seem to me to be something we can dispense with. Actually, finding this calling seems to be quite an important task (probably ''the task''). Then, if it flourishes --given certain necessary conditions-- it'll bring along other things and interests, like a flowering tree. But you need one central point around which everything else revolves, in my view.

Best wishes,

March 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulio
what does it mean..? i think we are discovering this as we go...i know starting out in construction i have leaned towards art...or creativity in general as a balance. polymathy seems to offer freedom or hope or something of that nature. to move in direction quite different from ones conditioning...
April 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Apparently,ploymathy has something to do with nike trainers and sunglasses! ha ha
November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerek Crankshaft
"What does the word POLYMATH mean?" : When in a situation - any situation - a polymath is one who makes an effort to understand it, do something with his understanding of it, and then explores alternate understandings....
April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter2b+!2b=?
I think a Polymath is a create thinker and doer; one who just loves to enter a room of total strangers and say "hi there", just to see who and how the response presents itself and what new conversational path might begin. One who longs to figure out the path and then climb each mountain in life to see what is on the other side. Always looking at a creative solution or way to say it, write it, do it, and share it. Able to look back at the pathways their life has taken that are all zigzags and say how much fun it was getting to where they are today, and looking for that "new thing" tomorrow.
April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat