intellectual naivety

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Senior Member
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the word "intellectual naivety". What does it mean?

the context is as follows:
A neat solution was proposed more than a century ago by an American economist named Henry George. Today, his followers are subjected to unfair accusations of intellectual naivety by the economics mainstream. But his ideas deserve a hearing because they adhere to the essential truths of classical economics, and because they promise an economy in which individual freedom and social justice become co-dependent rather than mutually exclusive. For George, the key to transforming the economy lay in the tax system.
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    To accuse someone of intellectual naivety is to claim (often without any justification) that they are out of touch with reality and don't take account of the facts.

    Someone who has a good idea is often attacked as being naive, i.e. "not living in the real world".


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Naiveté (which is the way I spell it and is the usual AE spelling) means a lack of experience or sophistication. It has nothing to do with whether or not the person has intellectual powers or good ideas. A naive person may or may not be very intelligent or have good ideas.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    When someone is naive, it's a trait of their character. "Intellectual naivety" is nothing to do with character; it's more of a cognitive trait - failing, or being unable, to examine the subject in the required depth.

    It would be intellectual naivety to assert that, because there is evil in the world, there is no God - or to claim that, since no "missing link" between man and ape has been found, Darwin's Theory of Evolution is unfounded. They are just shallow assertions, irrespective of how true or false they are.
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