Talk:Polymath

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Contents

Definition[edit]

There is nowhere in the article which clearly describes the distinction between the primary and secondary definitions of "polymath". Can someone who knows add this in please??? NZUlysses (talk) 00:19, 27 September 2008 (UTC) Although to be honest I suspect this distinction is arbitrarily made for the purposes of this article.NZUlysses (talk) 00:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

"In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply refer to someone who is very knowledgeable." The first sentence doesn't seem formal at all. :/ 76.6.220.248 (talk) 04:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

A Polymath is probably just a Savant with more than one talent; a rare individual indeed. --lbeben 01:36, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

On the contrary, a polymath's expertise covers many wide areas and is not restricted in the way that a multi-talented savant is. Dbfirs 10:29, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Um, related to the definition of polymath itself, citation [2] refers to the term "polyhistor" and links back to this article for clarification -- but the linked section is missing. This either needs removed or repaired. KhyranLeander 16:41, 6 May 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Khyranleander (talkcontribs)

Criteria for inclusion in "primary" list[edit]

This is a problem - the article states that all people in the list have 'several' sources describing them as a polymath; in fact, the majority have only one. I've called for citations and after a reasonable period of time (e.g. a month) will remove those which only have one reliable source. This should be at the very least an article in an online publication, not a blog unless the blog is by someone particularly respect for reasons other than being a blogger.NZUlysses (talk) 00:25, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Scrap the list[edit]

Perhaps the entire list should just be scrapped, or at least made into a separate page. One can keep including people in such a list until one's eyes bleed and the current one reflects the interest of those that have been active contributors more than it serves the purpose of giving examples - which is the only purpose of such a list. The description of someone as a polymath and similar designations is highly subjective anyway.

Hi - please sign your posts in future :-) . I'd support this, although I'd uphold strict standards for any other page as well. What do others think?NZUlysses (talk) 10:44, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I would move the lists rather than scrap them. Put them in a subsidiary article, or put them at the end. In either case, put the lists side by side, rather than interpose text between them. Drz1627 (talk) 19:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
More importantly, the lists are bogus and confusing as is. A nod is given at the beginning of the article that the criteria for polymath-ism changes over time. This should become more explicit. The lists should be broken into eras, so that the degree of learning required in say, in the 1800s is easy to appreciate and compare with the degree of learning in the 1100s. Drz1627 (talk) 19:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Can someone who is BOLD try to create a new page of the list and break it down in time periods then? The list in the article certainly reduce the quality of the article itself and too much emphasis on the list is brought to an article that still can use other work. --195.84.66.130 (talk) 05:44, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Polymath Candidates[edit]

Too numerous to count omissions[edit]

All of these people have RS calling them a polymath. Is the list to be unbounded? William Stanley Jevons (1835–1882); William Whewell, 1794-1866; Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869); Joseph Leidy (1823-91); Francis Galton 1822-1911 [see: Nature 415, 19-20 (3 January 2002)]; Joseph Lucas (1846–1926) [see: Geological Society, London, Special Publications; 2004; v. 225; p. 67-88]; Alfred Russel Wallace (1862-1880); Kenneth Essex Edgeworth (1880-1972) [see: Vistas in Astronomy, vol. 40, Issue 2, pp.343-354]; Blaise Pascal; Francis Bacon. I added Thomas Young to the list, along with a RS for him. Drz1627 (talk) 19:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Political figures[edit]

I think Benjamin Franklin is a glaring omission (if Thomas Jefferson is included). And, on a more specific line, how about Ronald Fisher - a fantastically insightful and productive geneticist who also happened to revolutionize statistics ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 170.223.11.163 (talk) 00:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree about Benjamin Franklin, the term polymath is used as a description of him... Endogenous -i (talk) 06:14, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I think Liang Zhuge, may qualify: "Zhuge was not only an important military strategist and statesman; he was also an accomplished scholar and inventor."
Also, the Egyptian Imhotep, who held political posts, was an architect, a doctor, and a type of futurist. Letranova (talk) 23:33, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Again Franklin (I came here via a link from the Franklin article). I mean this guy invented the lightning rod, was self made tich, started Poor Richard's Almanac, got France into the American war thereby winning it & gave sex advice. I don't know of ANY polymath who is quite as poly as that. I assume somebody decided more than 1 for revolutionary America would look odd. It would but they kept the wrong one in.....Neil Craig —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.17.141.62 (talk) 16:05, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Theodore Roosevelt[edit]

I consider Theodore Roosevelt a Renaissance man. From his article: President of the United States, professional historian, naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier; small-town sheriff in the Dakota Territory; first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Roosevelt's definitive 1882 book The Naval War of 1812 was standard history for two generations. He was runner-up in the Harvard boxing championship. Jimpoz (talk) 08:10, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

-Not to mention the first non-Japanese judoka in the U.S. You've pointed out a basic problem with Wikipedia: common knowledge and anything a normal high school student learns is considered "original research". Reductio ad absurdum: You can't say "fire is hot" in a Wikipedia article without citing a so-called "reliable source". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.200.35.192 (talk) 20:18, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
That's all very interesting, but it's WP:OR. If a WP:RS calls him a "polymath", he should be included. If not, not. --Dweller (talk) 10:56, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
A poverty of thought revealed in this last comment. Simply finding a source using the word 'polymath' does not make TR worthy of inclusion; failure to identify such a source does not mark the comment as original research and worthy of exclusion. What adds credibility is evidence - which can take a number of forms, primary or secondary. The failure to grasp this point gives pedants the self-confidence to edit people who know much more than themselves. Sad really but not life and death. --OhNoPeedyPeebles (talk) 17:14, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Stupor Mundi[edit]

May I humbly submit for consideration Frederick II, Holy Roman Emporer, b. 1194, died 1250. A linguist (spoke nine languages, literate in seven), effective warrior and sagacious negotiator, founder of the University of Naples, religious skeptic and defier of Popes, eternally curious human being who would not miss any chance at learning from the people he met, fought, or conquered, the last word in his time on falconry and generally a zoological scholar, lawgiver -- and untiring womanizer.

Known in his time as "stupor mundi," perhaps not a bad substitute for "polymath" in the 13th century. The object for several centures of the hopes of many as a prelude to the second coming of the messiah; see Norman Cohn, "The Pursuit of the Millennium," Pimlico paperback 2004, Chapter 6, pages 108-126. John Julius Norwich also devotes an entire chapter to him in his The Middle Sea, Vintage paperback 2006, Chapter IX, pages 153-175. There is a Wiki page about him, with many other references.

I agree with inclusion of Frederick II

PRC 07 (talk) 10:08, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Whoever did the 'humble submitting' above, thanks. I have taken your suggestion, added it, used some of your words but mostly wrote it from sources. Cited Cohn and Norwich since you had them. Norwich is terrific on this whole brilliant phase of Sicilian history, with its connections up to Germany, over to Byzantium, over to Arab states etc. Have other writing on Frederick all of which amply justifies inclusion. PRC 07 (talk) 13:38, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Lost text[edit]

worth a look if you aren't familiar with him. sorry -- forgot to sign this. Joel Bergsman, joel@bergsman.org —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bergsyj (talkcontribs) 02:23, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

There's been plenty of modern scholars who've written about Frederick II. If any considered him a polymath, they'd have used the term. We couldn't include him in the list without breaching NPOV. --Dweller (talk) 15:00, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales[edit]

I am wondering why Prince Charles is not listed as a Polymath (and/or Renaissance man). By what I know of him as well as what is documented on the wikipedia article about him he is a man of varied knowledge and talents, enjoying a range from architecture to organic medicine. Should he not be included amongst the modern polymaths?? Lachy123 14:43, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

If you have a reliable source describing him as such. But I'm not sure he's a polymath, rather a self-taught jack of all trades, master of none. They're interests and hobbies, not areas in which he is an acknowleged expert. --Dweller (talk) 11:35, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I had to chuckle at the suggestion of Prince Charles being a polymath. He is hardly another Da Vinci! Fine, he's painted a few pictures. Fact is, he's utterly ordinary, and there is little or no substance for claiming otherwise. RoverRexSpot (talk) 21:56, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? Guinness4life (talk) 15:48, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
If Chuck's in can I be. What has he got that I haven't? Neil Craig —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.17.141.62 (talk) 16:09, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Religious Leaders[edit]

Bruce Lee[edit]

I'm sorry, I can't see any justification for including Bruce Lee on the list of polymaths. Many of the other examples given illustrate the characteristics of a polymath to a much greater extent than the inclusion of Bruce Lee. He's primarily a martial artist and everything else he is credited for in this list (philosophy, acting, directing, scriptwriting) stems directly from his status as a martial artist and are all expressions of martial art and not individual avenues in and of themselves. I'm will remove it forthwith. talk) 15:48, 20 June 2009

Jaf'ar as-Sadiq[edit]

Why isn't Ja'far al-Sadiq included in the list of polymath? Even according to his wikipedia bio stated as a polymath. It states that 'He was a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), and of Abu Hanifa,[5] founder of a Sunni Madh'hab.' If he taught Gerber(another polymath) how can he the teacher be excluded? I recently tried to include him and he was deleted! I expect to see him reinstated.--Eesa111 (talk) 21:57, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah! Why isn't he included. All Muslims know that he was a leading light in numerous fields.--IsaKazimi (talk) 17:25, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
If a reliable source has called him a "polymath", we'll happily include him. --Dweller (talk) 11:01, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Others[edit]

Katherine Jefferts Schori is the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, making her the first female Primate in the Anglican Communion. She also has a BSc., and MSc. and a PhD. in oceanography and she is a qualified pilot. I doubt her work in oceanography would merit her a Wikipedia article, but it is discussed in the existing biographical article. Google scholar turns out several articles written or co-written by her on squid-realted subjects: [1]

Rowan Williams is a senior cleric, former professor of systematic Theology, a published poet, cultural critic and advocate of the Welsh language. Do either of them merit inclusion? I can found one source describing Williams as polymath after only a second's search, but a casual search doesn't reveal any source for Jefferts Schori. Pelegius (talk) 20:36, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I have re-added Rowan Williams, this time with The Independent as a source, in adition to the previously cited source. I can doubtless find others, but that would be too much clutter. As The Independent is an enormously well-respected paper, noted for its objectivity, can we all agree that it is a dependeble source? Pelegius (talk) 01:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I have added Rowan Williams back in, finding him removed. His inclusion is challengable. He's been called a polymath only as an adjective, not as a noun ("the polymath primate") but IMO he's worthy of inclusion for now. If anyone has any ojections to his inclusion, please give your reasoning before moving him to the 'removed' list below.NZUlysses (talk) 00:05, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
-- That's not an adjective, that's a noun in apposition. Your calling it an adjective is in fact original research and therefore not suitable for Wikipedia.

Need a source for Muhammad to incude him in this list[edit]

As per here we need a reliable source that calls Muhammad a polymath or it will have to be deleted from this article. You cant collect a few praises and deduce that he's a polymath. Remember, among other things that Muhammad has been called, he's also been called very negative labels (as seen here, some of the labels are pedophile, pervert, tyrant, devil born satan, etc). Someone whose integrity and character is so widely disputed like this cannot make it to the list unless there is atleast one reliable source that calls him a polymath. Is there one? Please bring it here, otherwise leave his name out of the article. To deduce that he is a polymath because he was called all those nice things, is original research. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 22:06, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

There are two sources in the article which refer to him as a "Universal Man", which according to the Polymath#Related terms section, essentially means the same thing as "Homo Universalis", "Polymath" and "Renaissance Man". His integrity or character has nothing to do with it. Jagged 85 (talk) 23:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed about his character. I'd want some kind of clarity that the sources mean to refer to Homo Universalis, rather than referring to his relationship with the universe in a spiritual manner. --Dweller (talk) 11:51, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
'some of the labels are pedophile, pervert, tyrant, devil born satan, etc'- His character has nothing to do with whether he is a polymath or not. A polymath is defined by their knowledge not their character. So to bring that up is just petty.--Eesa111 (talk) 22:04, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Erm, it was brought up 13 months ago! Shall we move on? --Dweller (talk) 01:29, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm muslim but wouldn't say that Muhammed(s) was a polymath in the academic sense.IsaKazimi (talk) 03:09, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Michael.H.Hart says in his famous book 'The 100' that he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Mohammad(pbuh) was a leader, revolutionary, reformer, commander in chief, businessman, governor, lawyer(declared the greatest lawyer by USA Supreme Court List Muhammad [pbuh] as 1 of the Greatest Law Giver of World reference http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/north&southwalls.pdf ), economist, thinker, and a Humanitarian. A man of multiple talents with full expertise in them thus qualifying the definition of polymath. I have given you two references, I can give you more even from his enemies like H.G.Wells, Pickthall and various others. I cannot find any reason of not including him in the list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Legend4h (talkcontribs) 14:20, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I am a Muslim, and I am against putting the Prophet's name in a list for polymaths. The definition of a polymath is something related to research, academia and life scientific acheivement. Muhammed PBUH was not a scientist, it was not his duty, I will go further and say he is superior to this according to Muslim's convintions as his message - duty - was to lead people to true religion. Everything he knew was taught to him by God (according to Muslims) not by research. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 197.48.124.107 (talk) 11:02, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Poincaré[edit]

Poincaré seems to be missing. He is a polymath - you can just go to his bio here in Wikipedia to find out. Shouldn't we include him? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Freiddie (talkcontribs) 00:41, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Is there a reliable source that describes him as a "polymath"? --Dweller (talk) 10:35, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
yes poincare is missing. that he is the last polymath seems to be common knowledge. i remember long time ago i read such a thing. i will look for a reference. i guess even hilbert is missing.--Xashaiar (talk) 06:26, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
i found one mention of hilbert as a polymath in the reference Nihon Kagakushi Gakkai "Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan",Publisher: The Society, 1983 (Item notes: no.24-29), where it is stated that in page 129: We can ask ourselves, as the great polymath, David Hilbert once asked, ,,ob der Mathematik einst bevorsteht, was anderen Wissenschaften langst widerfahren... but i recognise that this might not be enough to put his name there.--Xashaiar (talk) 21:14, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Noam Chomsky[edit]

How about Noam Chomsky? The guy has been cited more than anyone else in hitory and has contributed to linguistics, psychology, and political thought; as yet I can find no reliable source describing him as a polymath though.NZUlysses (talk) 00:05, 27 September 2008 (UTC) So far I have found one source: http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1825/18250040.htm. As per my discussion above I'll refrain from adding him until I can find a second source.NZUlysses (talk) 00:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I will second this notion. I think he is also widely respected as a philosopher and held debates with folks like Michel Foucault among other philosophers. Letranova (talk) 23:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I third the notion —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.68.42.70 (talk) 06:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Octavio Paz[edit]

Octavio Paz was a poet, writer, political figure (diplomat), anthropologist, philosopher and Nobel Prize Winner in literature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Letranova (talkcontribs) 23:54, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Fabulous. Provide a RS that calls him "polymath" and in he goes. --Dweller (talk) 00:43, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Leibniz[edit]

Mathematician, physicist, philosopher

Pascal[edit]

Mathematician, physicist, philosopher

Plato[edit]

Ethical philosopher, Aesthetic philosopher, mathematician, political theorist, literary contributor, teacher, Metaphysician, psychology, epistemology, wrestler in his early years

Pythagoras[edit]

Natural philosopher, Metaphysician, mathematician, spiritual leader, astronomer, layed foundations for western music theory

Robert M Pirsig[edit]

Biochemist, philosopher, writer

René Descartes[edit]

Philosopher, Mathematician, psychology.

Ruy Barbosa[edit]

Jurist, politician, diplomat, writer, philosopher, polyglot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.205.20.74 (talk) 01:37, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Aristotle[edit]

Biologist, physicist, metaphysician, ethical philosopher, political philosopher, teacher, Zoologist, founder of Logic, Music, Poetry, Theatre, Rhetoric 

Nietzsche[edit]

Metaphysician, philosopher, composer, poet, novelist, artist

Leonardo Da Vinci[edit]

Artist, musician, inventor, anatomical anthropologist, pioneer

Copernicus[edit]

Minor philosopher, economist, astronomer, physicist, mathematician

Thomas Young[edit]

Physicist, historian, egyptologist, polyglot, medical doctor

Hooke[edit]

Architect, biologist, physicist

Sir Temistocles Zammit[edit]

Historian, archeologist, biologist, chemist, medical doctor

Buckminster Fuller[edit]

Another American polymath. Here's the RS:

Humans in Universe: Miscellanea Mediaevalia. By Richard Buckminster Fuller, Anwar S. Dil Edition: illustrated Published by Walter de Gruyter, 1983 ISBN 0899250017, 9780899250014.(see page 13)

Also: From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism By Fred Turner Edition: illustrated Published by University of Chicago Press, 2006 ISBN 0226817415, 9780226817415 (see page 55)Letranova (talk) 03:53, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Please provide the verbatim quote, thanks. --Dweller (talk) 14:34, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Dealing with life as a polymath[edit]

As a budding polymath (computing, games, music, writing, art and design) I can't find somewhere to talk to similar people. Where would such a place be? Jackpot Den (talk) 15:05, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I hate to break it to you, but computing, games, music, writing, art and design alone do not make you a polymath. If you truly wish to become a polymath (I hope you will because the world needs more polymaths), I suggest you try and tackle some of the following fields which I have tackled and am still learning about on my journey up the polymath mountain:
  • Philosophy (I cannot stress the importance of this since it is a very broad subject dealing mainly with Ethics, Epistemology, Logic, Aesthetics and Metaphysics. Philosophy is also the ideal conditioning for aspiring polymaths since it teaches the individual to ask questions where there are questions to be asked, reflect deeply on a topic and formulating his own cohesive ideas on topics. I highly suggest you look into works by Leibniz, Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Pythagoras and Descartes since they are also polymaths)
  • A decent level of knowledge in at least one of the natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry or Biology. I personally prefer Physics since it is a more fundamental science of nature and also is in harmony with the next field I will write about, but it is just my opinion. Also the more natural sciences you take over the better)
  • Mathematics (unlike the natural sciences, this abstract science deals with objectivity and being exact. It is the only science where two "things" or ideas can be exactly the same which is a feature that is completely inexistent in nature. This science would go well with Metaphysics and also with Physics if you decide to go down that road since Physics is the attempt to explain nature using mathematics)
  • Economy (stay up to date with the worlds economy and research various economic terms)
  • Politics (same approach as with economics)
  • Art (you seem to have quite a background of it already but be sure to dive deeper into Aesthetics of many media. Also be sure to create a lot your own art)
  • Linguistics (make sure you also try to improve your linguistic ability by learning new words from your main languages and also feel free to look into other languages as well)
  • Psychology (I personally really value this. The human being is a social animal meaning he must constantly maintain contact with fellow humans to ensure mental health. Learning about behaviour and cognitive processes offers a great collection of knowledge and is also very useful to be applied in everyday life. I suggest you look into Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Abraham Maslow, crowd behaviour, non-verbal comunication, disorders and Behaviourism as a starting point)
  • History (perfect for studying the cause-effect phenomena) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AL12345 (talkcontribs) 11:40, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Sport (since you are on a quest to learn about everything, you might as well get involved in physical activity as well right? Plus physical activity is also good in improving mental ability as stated in Cartesian Dualism by René Descartes that the mind and the body are two interactive machines. This is highly recommended to become a polymath)
  • A very very open mind (try to interest yourself in even the smallest of things in everyday life since the more you know, the more of a polymath you are)
  • Determinism towards perfection and excellence (do not just dabble in everything, but work on becoming even better than your idols and influences. The more you know, it is never enough)
  • Make connections (try to connect different aspects of what you know together even across different fields. You don't know what can inspire your thinking. It is like creating a "unified field theory" of what you know. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AL12345 (talkcontribs) 11:10, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
LOL. "Polymath" has a bit of a big connotation. For one "Music, writing, art, and design" are all pretty easy subjects. I know a lot about them too. I can write songs, write stories, make art, and design things. I don't thing I'm a polymath. Games? Can you design games expertly? Like, are you one of the best in the field of game design? Or are you just good at playing games? That doesn't count. Computing? Are you an expert computer engineer who works at Intel designing newer and more powerful computer processors? Or do you just know a good bit about how to use a computer? Again, that doesn't really count. You can be the best computer user in the entire world... just no tall that impressive. 74.251.39.215 (talk) 09:38, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
You can chat to me. I am an aspiring polymath, although there doesn't seem enough time to pursue all my desires day-to-day.

Look up on Google there are polymath and 'renaissance man' websites, societies and forums. Lachy123 (talk) 03:23, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Though I must say that describing oneself as a polymath is a bit narcissistic, I hope that I can help. I would try any MENSA group first and foremost, though they tend to be a bit old and European Values based. Second, try the mathematics, physics, chemistry, or any other interesting division's colloquiums at one of the local universities. Third, try a local Scout Meeting. I know, I know, Scouts? But really, they tend to be a bit more physically polymathic, fishing, rowing, knots, fire, skills, etc. If any of these don't fetch your interest, then try the internet. But be warned, don't feed the trolls. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.160.237.253 (talk) 06:04, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Great comment. You can always drop me a line. While I don't consider myself a polymath I'd say that I'm interested in transdisciplinary topics. I think that folks we currently consider polymaths today, in the future they will be just another person in the crowd. I think resources like the Web and Wikipedia will lead to this type of change in our cultures. Also, I'd recommend the following topics to these folks: interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, portal:philosophy and the portal:thinking as great places to feed your thirst for knowledge. Letranova (talk) 23:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Polymath does not mean "dabbler"[edit]

a polymath is properly a person who has demonstrated excellence or above average ability in several unrelated fields. Different fields of science don't really count as the core educational requirements are essentially the same. A scientist who also happens to write novels in his spare time and can play the piano is not a polymath unless his novels are independently and subjectively acclaimed (by people other than his friends) or he is recognized as a very exceptional piano player, not just someone who just happens to know how to play the piano a bit. This list of famous polymaths could probably be shorter as a lot of these polymaths were mere hobbyists in various sub fields, not experts who could take the place of a person who has devoted his life to a single one of any of them. Mr. ATOZ (talk) 15:48, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

That's your opinion. However, if they've been described as polymaths by RS, your opinion is POV. --Dweller (talk) 14:58, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

3 quick questions...[edit]

1. Why is Jefferson in both lists? 2. Why is Aristotle not in the first list? 3. Why is Thomas Jefferson on the first list and Benjamin Franklin isn't? I am not an expert on the subject in any means, but this either needs explanation or correction. Thank you. 74.61.61.225 (talk) 07:26, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Two Lists[edit]

Is there a reason that there are two lists on this page? The second one seems much better in my opinion. Zazaban (talk) 19:37, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

They're different. The text explains. --Dweller (talk) 10:48, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
The distinction between the primary definition and the secondary definition needs more clarification. Dagordon01 (talk) 16:56, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Even if they are different, why is some of the same text in both? Kennedy's quote about Jefferson appears in both lists and as a result on my original reading I assumed that the second list was a mistaken redundancy. Astonzia (talk) 00:33, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
These two should certainly be merged. Contrary to what Dweller asserts, the text does not explain why we need two separate lists. It says "This Renaissance ideal differed slightly from the "Polymath" in that it involved more than just intellectual advancement." (Added in this edit with the spelling "intillectual".) Even if we trust that unsourced statement, a slight difference in something that is largely a judgment call is not a reason for separate lists; that could very well be taken into account by mentioning it for the individual entries. Moreover, it doesn't seem like it is backed up by the references. Just look at the first two entries: For both Imhotep and Cicero, the sources say "polymath", not "renaissance man". — Sebastian 06:59, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Arabs. Vast quantities of Arabs[edit]

I came here expecting to see genuine Polymaths such as Francis Galton (not present). Instead I see massive quantities of Arabic names, leading to people whose accomplishments are mostly trivial. The whole list seems somewhat ridiculous, and a massive re-write is perhaps in order. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.151.185.81 (talk) 04:57, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Anyone listed should have RS to say they were a polymath. Massive quantities of Arabic names perhaps reflects the astonishing contribution Arabs have made to world culture, especially in the medieval period. Your perception of their accomplishments as "trivial" is your POV and has an uncomfortable undertone to it, undermining your comments. Finally, if you have RS to show Francis Galton is a "polymath", please do use it! --Dweller (talk) 10:47, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately an excessive deal of Galton's work was pseudoscience and he had very shoddy educational credentials. The Persian polymaths on the other hand (with Arabic names) have well established credentials having written various manuscripts which advanced many actual specialized sciences like spherical trigonometry and algebra. If anything don't add Galton unless you have some serious evidence if any at all
an arabic name does not make a person Arab. they are mostly persian.--Xashaiar (talk) 09:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Sigh! such ignorance bordering on racism.IsaKazimi (talk) 03:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Americans and an Iranian together against Arabs, now that's irony!
They weren't mostly Arabs; they were mostly Persians — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.14.102.250 (talk) 02:52, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Newton, in case you're wondering, was a polymath[edit]

I appreciate the difficulty of defining polymath and distinguishing among candidates. However, "Isaac Newton, ... are examples of people widely viewed as geniuses, but who are not generally considered to be polymaths." is almost too silly for words. I add this comment immediately after "Vast quantities of Arabs" to make the point even more clear. For my Edits and further comments see List of polymaths. Jamesdowallen (talk) 11:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

This article in two spots mentions Newton - firstly saying he is, the saying he isn't. Can't have it both ways in an encyclopedia article! Someone needs to make a good arguement for this and remove the opposite!

MatthewCummins (talk) 13:17, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Moved from article[edit]

These names have been added to the article over time, but have no RS stating they are/were "polymath". By longstanding consensus, we only add those to the list who are called "polymath"s in RS, otherwise it is OR and/or POV:

  • Richard Feynman (1918-1988), physicist, mathematician, author, artist and musician.

(You should be able to find references in his books themselves. This may in part prove his authorship. You can watch him sketch in a video currently posted on Google video).

  • Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994), Israeli philosopher and scientist known for his outspoken, often controversial opinions on Judaism, ethics, religion and politics. He taught at the Hebrew University for nearly six decades, lecturing in biochemistry, neurophysiology, philosophy and the history of science.
  • Le Corbusier (1887–1965), a Swiss-born architect, designer, urbanist, writer, painter, poet, theorist, sculptor, who is famous for his contributions to what now is called Modern Architecture. In his 30s he became a French citizen. He was a pioneer in theoretical studies of modern design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. His career spanned five decades, with his iconic buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, and one structure each in North and South America. He was also an urban planner, painter, sculptor, writer, and modern furniture designer.
  • Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965), an Alsatian-German theologian, musician, philosopher, humanitarian, and physician. He is perhaps most famous for founding and sustaining the Lambaréné Hospital in Gabon, west central Africa, where he spent most of his life. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of Reverence for Life ("Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben"), based on the conviction that the respect for life is the highest principle. His "The Problem of Peace" lecture is considered to be one of the best speeches ever given.
  • Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), "A noted statesman and orator, leading Britain to victory in World War 2, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a journalist, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, and an impressionist artist."
  • Epifanio de los Santos (1871-1928), a Filipino historian, linguist, translator, biographer, poet, journalist, writer, editor, publisher, musician, expert pianist, master guitarist, violinist, artist, philologist, philosopher, bibliographer, literarian, jurist, government executive, lawyer, politician, outstanding civil servant, philantropist, antique/art/phonograph collector, bibliophile and great Filipino patriot. EDSA, a famous historical highway, was named in honor of him. Some of the highest titles given by his biographers, notable scholars and foreign critics would be "The First Filipino Academician", " Great among the Great Filipino scholars" and "Genius." His libraries and Filipiniana collections is one of the best in the world. Member of learned societies and man of so many talents and skills.
  • José Rizal (1861-1896), a Filipino polyglot, linguist, novelist, poet, journalist, ophthalmologist, anthropologist, ethnologist, artist, sociologist and national hero. Rizal's 1896 military trial and execution made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution. He is considered to be the "Pride of the Malay race".
  • Henri Poincaré, physicist and mathematician who dabbled extensively in practically every field in mathematics.
  • Rafael Francisco Osejo (1790–1848) "Born in Nicaragua and a prominent figure in the Independence of Central America, knowledgeable about mathematics, philosophy, politics, history and geography, was chamberlain of the Santo Tomas University in Costa Rica and occupied many positions in the government of several central American countries."
  • Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography was foundational to the field of biogeography. An inveterate explorer and a prolific author, von Humboldt was a complex figure: the archetypic modern, rational, and international scientist.[20]
  • Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), artist, author, counselor, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist, poet, visionary and composer.
  • Matteo Ricci[citation needed] (1552-1610); an Italian Jesuit and a phenomenal figure in the East-West scientific exchange in China. "Matteo Ricci was the perfect man of culture, a polymath versed in all things, mathematics and literature, philosophy and poetry, mechanics and astronomy." [22] In collaboration with Xu Guangqi, he was also the first to translate classic Confucian texts into Latin and classic Western texts into Chinese (including portions of Euclid's Elements).
  • H. G. Wells [citation needed] (1866–1946); "Fifty years ago, the British polymath and amateur historian was able to compress the history of the world up to 1920 into one volume..."[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Inayatullah, Sohail.(2002). Understanding Sarkar: Tantra, Macrohistory and Transformative Knowledge (Leiden, Brill, January, 2002).
  2. ^ Nozick, Robert (1981). Philosophical Explainations. Harvard., Philosophical Explainations
  3. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time", Rolling Stone
  4. ^ BBC News, May installed as uni chancellor, Monday, 14 April 2008.
  5. ^ Brian May being installed as the new Chancellor of LJMU.
  6. ^ Bhatti, Anil (2006-06-28). "Iqbal and Goethe" (PDF). Yearbook of the Goethe Society of India. Retrieved 2006-06-28. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Yasmin Khan (2006), 1000 years of missing science, Science Museum.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Alavi was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Topdemir, Hüseyin Gazi (1999), Takîyüddîn'in Optik Kitabi, Ministery of Culture Press, Ankara (cf. Dr. Hüseyin Gazi Topdemir (30 June 2008). "Taqi al-Din ibn Ma'ruf and the Science of Optics: The Nature of Light and the Mechanism of Vision". FSTC Limited. Retrieved 2008-07-04.)
  10. ^ Dr. Salim Ayduz (26 June 2008). "Taqi al-Din Ibn Ma'ruf: A Bio-Bibliographical Essay". Retrieved 2008-07-04.)
  11. ^ "The Machines of Al-Jazari and Taqi Al-Din". FSTC Limited. 30 December 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
  12. ^ Mughal, Art of India, Victoria and Albert Museum, Adam Matthew Publications.
  13. ^ Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Physics and Physical Technology, Part 2, Mechanical Engineering. Taipei: Caves Books Ltd. Page 111.
  14. ^ Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Physics and Physical Technology, Part 2, Mechanical Engineering. Taipei: Caves Books Ltd. Pages 32–33.
  15. ^ Lewis, Bernard (2001). Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East. Open Court Publishing. p. 234. ISBN 0812695186.
  16. ^ Dankoff, Robert (2004). An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Celebi. BRILL. p. 223. ISBN 9004137157.
  17. ^ Euronet website
  18. ^ Vefa Erginbas (2005), Forerunner Of The Ottoman Enlightenment: Ibrahim Muteferrika and His Intellectual Landscape, p. 1 & 46-47, Sabancı University.
  19. ^ Presentation of Katip Çelebi, Kitâb-i Cihân-nümâ li-Kâtib Çelebi, at the Utrecht University Library
  20. ^ Holloway, Sarah (2003). Key Concepts in Geography. Sage Publications, Inc. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) p. 27
  21. ^ a b c d e f Cite error: The named reference Sardar was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ Lacouture, Jean (1997). Jesuits: A MultiBiography.Counterpoint. p.189. ISBN-10: 1887178600
  23. ^ Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (Vintage: 1992).
  24. ^ a b A versatile genius, Frontline 21 (24), 2004.
  25. ^ a b Rabindranath Tagore, Time 100.
  26. ^ Whitman, Alden (1972): "A World History by 42 Professors," The New York Times, July 18, 1972, p. 23: "Fifty years ago, the British polymath and amateur historian was able to compress the history of the world up to 1920 into one volume of 1171 pages weighing 3 pounds 3 ounces.... Now a somewhat similar book, concededly inspired by Well's, has been published. It is the work not of one man, but of 42."
  27. ^ Steer, Duncan (2003). Cricket: The Golden Age. Cassell illustrated. ISBN -X Check |isbn= value: length (help). "Footballer, cricketer, politician and polymath C.B. Fry, now commander of a Royal Navy training ship" p.51

Finished. Finally. --Dweller (talk) 12:44, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

+1 --Dweller (talk) 11:19, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
+1 --Dweller (talk) 20:35, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I've just restored some of those polymaths in the article along with reliable references, and removed them from this list accordingly. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 02:35, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Super. That's the way to do it. --Dweller (talk) 14:08, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
-- I would suggest that physics and math are essentially the same for determining a polymath, and the example of Blaise Pascal shows that only three areas of expertise are sufficient. Especially tricky when you consider that theology is simply a branch of philosophy.

That having been said, I would submit Brian May, the guitarist from Queen who is also a PhD in astrophysics, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, guitarist from the Doobie Brothers who has worked as a paid consultant in the aerospace industry, particular in the area of missile defense, and the girl who played Winnie on The Wonder Years, who went on to become a published (peer-reviewed journal) mathematician.

Physics and math are not essentially the same. You may as well say English and Latin are basically the same. Theology is not a branch of philosophy. To think so shows blatant ignorance. Also, Brian May only finished his PhD what - last year? He's made no significant contributions to the field. Additionally, while he's a good guitarist, I'd hardly call the man a genius even at that. Half of my friends would be on the list if you want studio musicians with advanced degrees.

I would not submit Tony Bennett or Jeff Goldlum (singer/painter and actor/jazz pianist respectively) because they are only know for their secondary endeavours because of the fame from their primary ones.

On the other hand, Johnny Carson was a talk show host, drummer, magician, and linguist (Russian and Swahili).

Learning the rudiments of a language does not make you a linguist. I know a few languages. I'm not a linguist.

Chomski is no more a polymath than Thomas Sowell is. They're both specialists in one field (linguistics and economics, respectively) who are ensconced in cushy academic situations where they (using researchers) can publish on anything they want. Note that I picked one from the right to compare with Chomski. Fair and balanced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.200.35.192 (talk) 20:41, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

If a reliable source has called someone a "polymath", we should include them. --Dweller (talk) 11:03, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Where are the WOMEN on this list?[edit]

Is Wikipedia implying that only MEN can be polymaths? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 15.251.169.70 (talk) 16:22, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia implies nothing. Wikipedia is a mirror of what is said by reliable sources. If you have RS saying that any woman from history was a "polymath" please add her to the article. --Dweller (talk) 16:43, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Other than Hildegard de Bingen, there really aren't very many. Blame the platykurtic Male IQ curve or the patriarchy, but you won't find many RS's that say otherwise.Guinness4life (talk) 16:22, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
It is important to consider that without a formal education women had a difficult time becoming recognized as a polymath. In addition, Wikipedia contributors need to look for and include women who were under the tutelage of churches and other religious institutions as that was one way for women prior to 20th century to have resources available for learning.Remember women were considered property of men until 20th century and still are in many parts of the world. I vote for Hildegard Von Bingen to be on the list of polymaths on Wikipedia.12:42, 8 July 2010 (UTC)user:Lianow —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lianow (talkcontribs)
I'm surprised that Hypatia isn't on the list, since she was sufficiently diverse to be a respected philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. Vivikafa (talk) 03:02, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree Hypatia should definitely be on the list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.49.231.81 (talk) 16:03, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Recent Changes to List of Recognized Polymaths[edit]

I was surprised to see Da Vinci wasn't on the list of recognized polymaths, given that his picture is used as an example.

Between the "Revision as of 23:38, 13 October 2008" and the "Revision as of 04:43, 14 October 2008" the List of Recognized Polymaths was changed, and I can't see all the changes in the diffs. What's going on there? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alucinor (talkcontribs)

Good spot. I'll take a look. --Dweller (talk) 13:12, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Should now be fixed. There was a partial reversion of blanking that didn't get it all. --Dweller (talk) 14:05, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

How does it need it?[edit]

Hi.

I saw this:

"Many fields of interest take years of singleminded devotion to achieve expertise, often requiring starting at an early age. Also, many require cultural familiarity that may be inaccessible to someone not born and raised in that culture. In many such cases, it is realistically possible to achieve only knowledge of theory if not practical experience. For example, on a safari, a jungle native will be a more effective guide than an American scientist who may be educated in the theories of jungle survival but did not grow up acquiring his knowledge the hard way."

But how does getting it the "hard way" require a specific culture that can only be learned at a certain age frame and then that's it? mike4ty4 (talk) 06:52, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Fictional polymaths[edit]

There is a huge list here, with not a single reference. I propose deletion.

In fact quite a few entries are clearly not polymath:

  • Conan-Doyle records at Watson's very first meeting that Sherlock Holmes' learning is in fact eccentric and specialised - he knows nothing of astronomy or philosophy, only of things relevant to detective work.
  • Gregory House obviously has a huge knowledge of medicine and very little of anything else.

DJ Clayworth (talk) 20:19, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

It's not very encyclopedic. The list could be removed, or hived off to a daughter article, List of fictional polymaths? --Dweller (talk) 10:28, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Gone. Mike R (talk) 23:40, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Bgs893 (talk) 00:55, 1 January 2009 (UTC) It helps people relate polymaths to fictional people that they do know, like Artemis Fowl, so it helps them understand, really what Wikipedia is meant to do

Definitions need to be a bit more precise[edit]

Especially the first one. "A person whose knowledge is not restricted to one subject area." So I guess EVERYONE's a polymath then?--207.237.245.50 (talk) 04:36, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Changed definition to "A polymath (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, "having learned much")[1] is a person who is an expert in a significant number of subject areas". --72.68.200.104 (talk) 14:00, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Thomas Young is the proverbial polymath and yet he is not included in the main article! For those of you who are Zionists, even Albert Einstein admired him and regarded him as a genius. What sort of list is this which chooses to exclude Young, one of the greatest polymaths of all time?

If a reliable source has called him a "polymath", we should include him. --Dweller (talk) 11:02, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Asimov a polymath?[edit]

I believe he's published books that are all over the Dewey Decimal System. See Isaac Asimov.--153.18.17.22 (talk) 18:20, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

If a reliable source has called him a "polymath", we should include him. --Dweller (talk) 11:02, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Agree, I will look for RS. He's published in every category except philosophy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Guinness4life (talkcontribs) 16:23, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry I know this is old but just had to comment. 'If a reliable source has called him a "Polymath",'. By reliable source I assume you mean an 'expert' on polymaths, and I would assume other forms of genius. Got news for you no such thing really exists. 'Polymath' and genius in general are poorly understood by academics, and (I'm pretty sure) little or no real substantial or quantitative research on this has been done. Even just reading this talk page is enough to show that even at the basic classification level things are pretty ropy.
BTW, By my definition a polymath is a person who can turn their abilities to many different disparate talents and can attain some reasonable level of ability in at least several. A genius level polymath can do the above and also achieve very high levels of talent in (at least) one field and can use knowledge gained from one area to use in and improve another. - A primary distinguishing feature most or all polymaths is a very good or near eidetic memory.
My list of genius level polymaths if I made one might start - Leonardo Da Vinci, then Nickola Tesla, then Albert Einstein, another might be Winston Churchill.
I doubt that any kind of really reliable list or criteria can be made, which basically leaves Wikipedia looking a bit foolish.. Lucien86 (talk) 16:11, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Neil deGrasse Tyson called Asimov a polymath at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UwmIG8lRfQ 0:50 Just sayin'. 178.183.219.48 (talk) 20:32, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

merge lists[edit]

There are two separate lists on the page. Would the other editors agree to a combining? Alatari (talk) 00:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd rather just get rid of both lists altogether. It's become a silly exercise and some have even been using to push various POVs about how marvellous some part of the world or other is (or how dreadful, by trying to remove cited entries). It's not encyclopedic and it's POV to include some, but not others. I'd find out who OED or someone says the term was first used to describe and leave it that. --Dweller (talk) 15:58, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Jose Rizal[edit]

I really can not agree with his exclusion. He is a polymath in everysense of the word. I will find reliable sources and will re-include him the future.--Jondel (talk) 07:04, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Another Definition of Polymath[edit]

Polymath is currently becoming more popular as a term for collaborative work on a mathematical project through the internet, and more specifically. The main website for this is http://polymathprojects.org/ . Should this definition be included on the current page or on a separate page? I believe it should be a separate page as there is much to be written about this (i.e. problems solved so far etc) but am to Wikipedia so wanted to check. David2587 (talk) 19:20, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Falling between two...[edit]

At present I feel the article meanders between "polymath" and "Renaissance man", spending too much time on the latter at the expense of the first one. To cut a long story short, I'd feel more comfortable to see the word "polymath" a bit more. No problems with R.M. being in there, but don't you think the Renaissance material's eating the article up a bit? Philip Howard (talk) 00:58, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

First and second meanings[edit]

This paragraph...

In other cases, polymath is used to describe a meaning in a continuum of concepts, ranging from the person who knows a lot about several fields of study or has a varied or encyclopaedic knowledge (which will be called the first meaning in this article) to the person who has proficiency and competence in multiple fields or even to the person who has excelled in multiple fields (which will be called the second meaning). However, this distinction between the first and second meanings of the word might be subjective and even artificial since the existence of the last sense is only justified by those people who use the word polymath, in a more selective way, to denote someone with a verifiable proficiency in multiple fields, or, in an even more selective way, to denote someone with verifiable excellence or accomplishments in multiple fields (see the Etymological differentiation between Polymath and Polyhistor for an example of this distinction).

...was removed 3 years ago but the article still refers to the first and second meaning of polymath as if the paragraph were still present.--Lairor (talk) 03:14, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Renaissance Ideal, NPOV[edit]

The entire subsection on the Renaissance Ideal reads like an opinion piece lamenting about how today's men study a very specialized subfield, without sufficient citations. In reality, students attain a wide exposure to education, possibly more than the gentleman living in the Renaissance from high school where students are themselves encouraged to learn from as diverse a range of fields as possible. Hence the NPOV. Anivisual (talk) 04:55, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Four of the five paragraphs in that section site no references at all. Nasch (talk) 04:07, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
And the references that are there do not support the thrust of the claims being made. With this many people complaining and the section not having any encyclopedic purpose, I have removed it completely. DreamGuy (talk) 16:05, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

File:Shen Kua.JPG Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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List of polymaths?[edit]

What happened to the page with a list of people who are held to be polymaths? It's gone entirely. --96.238.20.201 (talk) 18:51, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

It was too controversial. Someone ninja-ordered it by name against consensus and was reverted. I did not follow further but I suspect politics reared its ugly head.24.225.131.64 (talk) 03:28, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Intelligence citations bibliography for updating this and other articles[edit]

You may find it helpful while reading or editing articles to look at a bibliography of Intelligence Citations, posted for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human intelligence and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library at a university with an active research program in these issues (and to another library that is one of the ten largest public library systems in the United States) and have been researching these issues since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research. You can help other Wikipedians by suggesting new sources through comments on that page. It will be extremely helpful for articles on human intelligence to edit them according to the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources for medicine-related articles, as it is important to get these issues as well verified as possible. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 17:29, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

The lead/lede[edit]

I have made a few small edits to the second paragraph of the lead/lede to improve clarity and conciseness. However, I feel there is something that still needs improvement in that paragraph. It seems a bit wordy. Also, there is quite a variety of terms. I see "notion", then "tenet", then "concept", and finally "notion" again. I don't know what to do, if anything. Perhaps someone who really knows the subject could ponder this and perhaps improve the paragraph further. CorinneSD (talk) 01:20, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Ruy Barbosa[edit]

Brazilian jurist, writer, polyglot, politician, diplomat and philosopher — Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.205.20.74 (talk) 01:32, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

L Ron Hubbard[edit]

Various sources list this man as a visionary in music, medicine, psychology, art, nuclear physics, and philosophy. He was also a child prodigy according to various sources. You may want to add him in both articles. (unsigned comment by User:Deibwan, 12:42, 9 May 92014)

Rolf Harris reference[edit]

Is it still appropriate to reference Rolf Harris in the 'Other uses' section of this page given his recent high profile conviction? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.99.160.139 (talk) 15:47, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

I've taken the mention of Harris out entirely, mainly because the reference to him as a polymath just seems like a one-shot reference and not really encyclopedic. That may also apply to the other "other uses" people so I will take a look. Yes, he is a convicted felon. Incidentally, the most recent talk page posts go a the bottom, so I've moved this topic to the correct spot on this page. Coretheapple (talk) 19:15, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

This article has a large amount of original research. In particular, I see that an IP editor has introduced a long list of arbitrary "renaissance men" essentially reinstating the list that was correctly removed by User:Dweller a few days ago. Arbitrary lists of persons, selected by Wikipedia editors, are not permitted by the policy on original research, and is of dubious factual accuracy. Coretheapple (talk) 19:04, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

I'd support reverting to Dweller's version. Does anyone object? Dbfirs 23:15, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
@Dbfirs: Yes, there is a reasonably clear consensus for there not being a list, selected arbitrarily. Indeed a free-standing list article was deleted for that reason. Coretheapple (talk) 14:55, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Dweller's version was the one without the list, but there have been some rearrangements since then. It's very difficult to know who should be included in such a list because everyone has their own favourites. We still have the one objection in the article.
Many notable polymaths <!--WHO WERE THEY???? How is a reader of this article supposed to find the Wikipedia articles on them?--> lived during the [[The Renaissance|Renaissance period]] ...
How do we answer it? Dbfirs 19:23, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Including a partial list is WP:POV. A full list has been deemed by the community at several AfD debates to be impossible. I'd go for no names at all. --Dweller (talk) 20:14, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I've changed the hidden note to reflect this consensus. Would it be better as a footnote? Dbfirs 22:08, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I think the hidden note is fine. Coretheapple (talk) 14:06, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

hindu rabinath togare[edit]

someone tried to add rabinath togare, and i don't think he is one.

why do i have to be nice to hindus? they've constantly overemphasised their role in mathematics, even when boyer has given them more than they deserve.

now they're trying to add some loser "postmodern blablabla" as a polymath. like this hindu was ever da vinci. give me a break man.

174.3.155.181 (talk) 04:42, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

New Life for the List?[edit]

Have been scouring the web for a reliable list of polymaths. None exists. It's a shame that the list was scrubbed from the main wikiedia article, as this was one of the few good resources on the topic. For my own research, I was able to cull from the talk and history pages, but not all users will access this.

Any interest in reviving this section, controversy be damned? This is the sort of thing that wikipedia should be doing. --Iasonaki (talk) 13:59, 1 October 2017 (UTC)