The Absent-Minded Professor: A Stock Character of Popular Fiction

Topics: Absent-minded professor, The Adventures of Tintin, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Pages: 2 (516 words) Published: December 19, 2012
This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (September 2007) The absent-minded professor is a stock character of popular fiction, usually portrayed as a talented academic whose focus on academic matters leads them to ignore or forget their surroundings. The phrase "absent-minded professor" is also commonly used more generally in English to describe people who are so engrossed in their 'own world' that they fail to keep track of their surroundings. It is a common stereotype that professors get so obsessed with their research that they pay little attention to anything else. The stereotype is very old: the ancient Greek biographer Diogenes Laërtius wrote that the philosopher Thales walked at night with his eyes focused on the heavens and, as a result, fell down a well.[1] Contents [hide]

1 Examples of real absent-minded professors
2 Fictitious absent-minded professors
3 References
4 External links
[edit]Examples of real absent-minded professors

Isaac Newton, Adam Smith, André-Marie Ampère, Jacques Hadamard, Sewall Wright, Norbert Wiener, Archimedes, and Albert Einstein were all scholars considered to be absent-minded by their contemporaries – their attention absorbed by their academic studies. William Archibald Spooner, who gave his name to the spoonerism, was known for his absent-mindedness and eccentricity. [edit]Fictitious absent-minded professors

Examples in film of absent-minded professors include "Doc" Emmett Brown from Back to the Future, the title character in the film The Absent-Minded Professor and its less successful film remakes all based on the short story A Situation of Gravity, by Samuel W. Taylor, as well as Professor Farnsworth of Futurama and Professor Frink in The Simpsons. Professor Kokintz in The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley is an example from literature, while Professor Branestawm, created...
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