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For other uses, see Philomath (disambiguation).

A philomath (/ˈfɪləmæθ/;[1] Greek: φίλος philos ("beloved," "loving," as in philosophy or philanthropy) + Greek μανθάνειν manthanein, math- ("to learn," as in polymath)) is a lover of learning and studying. Philomathy is similar to, but distinguished from, philosophy in that -soph, the latter suffix, specifies "wisdom" or "knowledge", rather than the process of acquisition thereof.

Philomath is not synonymous with polymath. A philomath is a seeker of knowledge and facts, while a polymath is a possessor of knowledge in multiple fields.

The shift in meaning for mathema is likely a result of the rapid categorization during the time of Plato and Aristotle of their "mathemata" in terms of education: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the quadrivium), which the Greeks found to create a "natural grouping" of mathematical (in the modern usage; "doctrina mathematica" in the ancient usage) precepts.

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  1. ^ "Philomath". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2016-01-22.