What deciphers the difference between intellectualism and just common knowledge? When we look at society as a whole we need to prioritize what is really important and see what will help progress this world further for the better. But what should we perceive as being better for society, having knowledge in the form of book smarts, or street smarts? It is clear cut in my mind that we should hold book smarts to a higher standard since through science is how we solve the mysteries of the world. .
In the essay "Hidden Intellectualism" the author Gerald Graff explains how he conveys his street smarts into his intellectual life. At one point Graff argues, "I have experienced what it felt like to propose a generalization, restate and respond to a counterargument, and perform other intellectualizing operations, including composing the kind of sentence I am writing now" (202). Graff seems to be claiming that by taking part in everyday life that you pick up the essential skills along the way to consider yourself street smart, and then onto considering yourself intellectual. In response, I understand where Graff is coming from, and I also understand the importance in fitting in with society so you don't look completely feeble or naive by any means. But I would argue that this is not what intellectualism is all about. When people ask me why I would consider myself intellectual I would never say that it's because I can form sentences and communicate in everyday life, I would instead list off all the wonderful things that I have learned about this world through science. So I acknowledge that there is a fine line between being intellectual and not being intellectual, and I firmly believe that Graff does not know where that line is, or has lost sight of that line as our generation has evolved.
I believe the separating line between intellectualism and street smarts is motivation.