The Polymath: Master of Many Trades

  • November 26, 2013
  • By a2ru      
Over-specialization retreats into defending what one has learned versus making new connections, defining the “monopath”.


If you are not a polymath, what are you? The answer to this question is explored by writer Robert Twigger, who defines the antithesis of a polymath as a monopath, “…a person with a narrow mind, a one-track brain, a bore, a super-specialist, an expert with no other interests–in other words the role-model of choice in the Western world.”

These are harsh words, but they ring true in today’s culture where, “…the monopathic model derives some of its credibility from its success in business.”

Sound like a case for interdisciplinary education at the university level? You bet, but don’t forget the arts if you want to encourage minds of all ages to learn something new.

“The performing arts–specifically dance, music and acting–improve one’s ability to learn anything else,” this according to Learning, Arts, and the Brain, a Dana Foundation study summarized by Dr. Michael Gazzaniga of the University of California, Santa Barbara, cited by Twigger.

Intrigued? Read the full article which was published in the November 4, 2013 edition of Aeon Magazine.

Link to Full Source: Anyone Can Learn to be a Polymath (Aeon Magazine)
Download PDF: Learning, Arts, and the Brain (The Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition)