The term intellectual designates that individual who dedicates an important part of his life and professional activity to the study and critical reflection of reality..
The physical origin of the term is found in France, more precisely in the convulsed France of the 19th century, with a political conflict being the driving force behind it. Known as The Dreyfus Affair, towards the end of the 19th century a French Army Captain, Alfred Dreyfus, who also had a polytechnic engineering degree, was accused of having provided the Germans with secret documents. Found guilty by a military court, Captain Dreyfus was not only sentenced to life imprisonment, but was also exiled in the Devil's Island Penal Colony, near the coast of French Guiana in South America. The Dreyfus family firmly convinced of the falsity of the charges, years later, managed to prove the innocence of Dreyfus, while the story comes to realize that in reality as a consequence of this very popular case the term intellectual was coined for the first time , thus designating the set of characters of science, art and culture who supported and claimed in favor of the freedom of the aforementioned Captain.
Meanwhile, over the years and as a consequence of this question of being used to designate those who hold an activity in which thought and reflection prevail and rule, the term acquires a social prestige value.
An intellectual and who is basically what will define him as such, makes use of the limited but at the same time very numerous capacities that the human mind has, since he will meditate, reflect, analyze, seek, reason, face opposite concepts to get out of them a conclusion that clarifies the reason for this opposition, will organize ideas, project, speculate with possible scenarios and relate causes with their effects, among the most salient issues.
In addition, in the case of those public intellectuals that each country holds by birth or adoption and who have become benchmarks of culture thanks to the immense trajectory of synthesis that they have made of reality and that of course public opinion has accepted and adopted, when they carry out these operations of analysis or open up to other alternatives, what they do is broaden the perspective of citizens and transform the world little by little through their words.