I shall define him as an individual who has elected as his primary duty and pleasure in life the activity of thinking in a Socratic (苏格拉底) way about moral problems.
I have excluded him because, while his accomplishments may contribute to the solution of moral problems, he has not been charged with the task of approaching any but the factual aspects of those problems.
His function is analogous to that of a judge, who must accept the obligation of revealing in as obvious a manner as possible the course of reasoning which led him to his decision.
The definition also excludes the majority of teachers, despite the fact that teaching has traditionally been the method whereby many intellectuals earn their living.
Although the figure may vary, analysts do agree on another matter: that the number of the homeless is increasing.
But his primary task is not to think about the moral code which governs his activity, any more than a businessman is expected to dedicate his energies to an exploration of rules of conduct in business.
Many others, while not addicted or mentally ill, simply lack the everyday survival skills needed to turn their lives around.
Even when homeless individuals manage to find a shelter that will give them three meals a day and a place to sleep at night, a good number still spend the bulk of each day wandering the street.
One of the federal government's studies predicts that the number of the homeless will reach nearly 19 million by the end of this decade.
Boston Globe reporter Chris Reidy notes that the situation will improve only when there are comprehensive programs that address the many needs of the homeless.
Steelworkers, airline employees, and now those in the auto industry are joining millions of families who must worry about interest rates, stock market fluctuation, and the harsh reality that they may outlive their retirement money.
As a result, they have lost the parachute they once had in times of financial setback — a back-up earner (usually Mom) who could go into the workforce if the primary earner got laid off or fell sick.
During the past generation, the American middle-class family that once could count on hard work and fair play to keep itself financially secure had been transformed by economic risk and new realities.
From the middle-class family perspective, much of this, understandably, looks far less like an opportunity to exercise more financial responsibility, and a good deal more like a frightening acceleration of the wholesale shift of financial risk onto their already overburdened shoulders.
Even demographics are working against the middle class family, as the odds of having a weak elderly parent — and all the attendant need for physical and financial assistance — have jumped eightfold in just one generation.
Both the absolute cost of healthcare and the share of it borne by families have risen — and newly fashionable health-savings plans are spreading from legislative halls to Wal-Mart workers, with much higher deductibles and a large new dose of investment risk for families' future healthcare.
For much of the past year, President Bush campaigned to move Social Security to a saving-account model, with retirees trading much or all of their guaranteed payments for payments depending on investment returns.
Surely it should be obvious to the dimmest executive that trust, that most valuable of economic assets, is easily destroyed and hugely expensive to restore — and that few things are more likely to destroy trust than a company letting sensitive personal data get into the wrong hands.
Several massive leakages of customer and employee data this year — from organizations as diverse as Time Warner, the American defense contractor Science Applications International Corp and even the University of California, Berkeley — have left managers hurriedly peering into their intricate IT systems and business processes in search of potential vulnerabilities.
Left, until now, to odd, low-level IT staff to put right, and seen as a concern only of data-rich industries such as banking, telecoms and air travel, information protection is now high on the boss's agenda in businesses of every variety.
Just as bosses and boards have finally sorted out their worst accounting and compliance troubles, and improved their feeble corporation governance, a new problem threatens to earn them — especially in America — the sort of nasty headlines that inevitably lead to heads rolling in the executive suite: data insecurity.
Meanwhile, the theft of information about some 40 million credit-card accounts in America, disclosed on June 17th, overshadowed a hugely important decision a day earlier by America's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that puts corporate America on notice that regulators will act if firms fail to provide adequate data security.
The ability to guard customer data is the key to market value, which the board is responsible for on behalf of shareholders.
So it is a bit confusing when vos Savant fields such queries from the average Joe (whose IQ is 100) as, what's the difference between love and fondness? Or what is the nature of luck and coincidence?
IQ tests ask you to complete verbal and visual analogies, to envision paper after it has been folded and cut, and to deduce numerical sequences, among other similar tasks.
It's not obvious how the capacity to visualize objects and to figure out numerical patterns suits one to answer questions that have eluded some of the best poets and philosophers.
Superhigh scores like vos Savant's are no longer possible, because scoring is now based on a statistical population distribution among age peers, rather than simply dividing the mental age by the chronological age and multiplying by 100.
In his article "How Intelligent Is Intelligence Testing?", Sternberg notes that traditional test best assess analytical and verbal skills but fail to measure creativity and practical knowledge, components also critical to problem solving and life success.
Research has found that IQ predicted leadership skills when the tests were given under low-stress conditions, but under high-stress conditions, IQ was negatively correlated with leadership — that is, it predicted the opposite.
Anyone who has toiled through SAT will testify that test-taking skill also matters, whether it’s knowing when to guess or what questions to skip.