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Do polymaths still exist?

Off I fly, careering far
In chase of Pollys, prettier far
Than any of their namesakes are
—The Polymaths and Polyhistors,
Polyglots and all their sisters.

(Thomas Moore)

… in any of the ancient, medieval or modern sense; for instance, Pythagoras, Ibn al-Haytham, Avicenna, Leonardo Da Vinci or Isaac Asimov.

I believe that with exceptional specialization of learning disciplines in post modern times, the concept of a Polymath or Renaissance Man has become totally obsolete. At the same time, amazing transformation in learning mediums and shift in dynamics of information accessibility has made each and everyone of us into a renaissance dwarf.

On second thought, there are few names like Malik Bennabi or Naquib al-Attas who might be called polymaths in a classical sense.


One thought on “Do polymaths still exist?

  1. Agree with the concept of Poly dwarves, the sources of knowledge have opened themselves up unconditionally, which has diluted knowledge itself, but much more of a commoner

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