Tuesday, February 24, 2009


In The Black Swan Nassim Nicholas Taleb defines a bildungspilister as a philistine possessed of a fake, cosmetic culture.

Taleb borrows the term from Nietzsche, who used it thus:

A bildungsphilister is someone who reads newspapers and reviews and imagines themselves to be cultured and educated but lacks genuine, introspective erudition.

Bildungsphilisters are prone to dogmatic, cliched, and unsubtle responses to events and things.

Taleb extends it to refer to anyone who has a high degree of education in one particular non-empirical field, who is prone to using buzzwords and ignores conflicts between the ideas they promote and the nature of reality.

1 comment:

M. Simon said...

The nature of this reality could use some more exploration:

Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been funded by the Obama administration?