Polymaths May Be Humans at Their Best
The 21st century often doesn’t have time for most “jacks of all trades, masters of none.” College and the working world aim to churn out specialists and experts. However, the proverbial Renaissance man or woman may actually reflect the natural human state of mind — and be a healthier, more creative person than the resident tunnel-vision monomath. Becoming a specialist from an early age discourages natural learning processes that occur in the brain well into adulthood, cutting people off from developing a wider than socially acceptable set of skills. Skeptical? Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were all polymaths, and they did OK.