Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real.
- Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
- Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
- Whoever prefers the material comforts of life over intellectual wealth is like the owner of a palace who moves into the servants’ quarters and leaves the sumptuous rooms empty.
- Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Aphorisms, D. Scrase and W. Mieder, trans. (Riverside, California: 1994), p. 53
- Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as strong to think.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 353
- The intellect is prompted by nature to comprehend the whole breadth of being. ... Under the concept of truth it knows all, and under the concept of the good it desires all.
- Marsilio Ficino, Five Questions Concerning the Mind (1495), as translated by J. L. Burroughs, in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man (1948)
- Thou living ray of intellectual fire.
- William Falconer, The Shipwreck (1762), Canto I, line 104
- "What is the Unpardonable Sin?" asked the lime-burner; and then he shrank farther from his companion, trembling lest his question should be answered. "It is a sin that grew within my own breast," replied Ethan Brand, standing erect with a pride that distinguishes all enthusiasts of his stamp. "A sin that grew nowhere else! The sin of an intellect that triumphed over the sense of brotherhood with man and reverence for God, and sacrificed everything to its own mighty claims!
- Intellectual life has a certain spontaneous character and inner determination. It has also a peculiar poise of its own, which I believe is established by a balance between two basic qualities in the intellectual’s attitude toward ideas—qualities that may be designated as playfulness and piety.
- Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1974), p. 27
- Intellect needs to be understood not as some kind of claim against the other human excellences for which a fatally high price has to be paid, but rather as a complement to them without which they cannot be fully consummated.
- Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1974) p. 46
- The inherent contradiction between condemning the intellect as invalid and incapable of reaching truth, and using that same intellect to make the condemnation, seems, strangely, not to occur to those who hold this derogatory view of the intellect.
- Norah Michener, Maritain on the Nature of Man. Hull, Canada: Éditions "L'Éclair", 1955, p. 2
- Psychology, speaking for emotion and instinct, has reduced intellect to impotence over life. Metaphysics has subordinated it to will. Bergson and his followers have charged it with falsehood and issued a general warning against its misrepresentations; while with pragmatists and instrumentalists it has sunk so low that it is dressed in livery and sent to live in the servant's quarters. It is against this last indignity in particular that I wish to speak a word of protest, to the end that the intellect may be accorded full rights within the community of human activities and interests.
- Ralph Barton Perry, "The Integrity of the Intellect," Harvard Theological Review, vol. 13, no. 3, July 1920, pp.220-221
- The worst of what is called good society is not only that it offers us the companionship of people who are unable to win either our praise or our affection, but that it does not allow us to be that which we naturally are; it compels us, for the sake of harmony, to shrivel up, or even alter our shape altogether. Intellectual conversation, whether grave or humorous, is only fit for intellectual society; it is downright abhorrent to ordinary people, to please whom it is absolutely necessary to be commonplace and dull. This demands an act of severe self-denial; we have to forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to become like other people. No doubt their company may be set down against our loss in this respect; but the more a man is worth, the more he will find that what he gains does not cover what he loses, and that the balance is on the debit side of the account; for the people with whom he deals are generally bankrupt—that is to say, there is nothing to be got from their society which can compensate either for its boredom, annoyance and disagreeableness, or for the self-denial which it renders necessary.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, Counsels and Maxims, T. B. Saunders, trans., § 9
- It is the expensiveness of our pleasures that makes the world poor and keeps us poor in ourselves. If we could but learn to find enjoyment in the things of the mind, the economic problems would solve themselves.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901)