Meanings: “Intellectual”

August 18, 2011

“Intellectual” as in “intellectual property.”  Geoffrey Pullam at Language Log wonders whether it makes sense for Kim Kardashian’s lawyer to assert that “Kim Kardashian’s identity and persona are valuable. When her intellectual property rights are violated, she intends to enforce them.”  Can it make sense for her appearance to be considered intellectual property?

Apparently yes as the law understands that term, Pullam explains, further damaging our respect for the enterprise of law.  He wonders whether we might need a replacement word for “intellectual.”

On the other hand, wasn’t it Aldous Huxley who said, “An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex”?


About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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