Someone told me that there is a medical/psychological term describing people who are mostly centered on their intellect and who do not care much about their physical comfort. That person could not remember the term though.

I thought about autism, but it is not this word.

Are you aware of such a word?

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    Probably ascetic. Look up the etymology. – John Lawler Feb 4 '13 at 1:54
  • This might be too specialised but : Type 5 - The Investigator enneagraminstitute.com/TypeFiveOverview.asp – Kyudos Feb 4 '13 at 1:55
  • Are you sure it's about their physical comfort, or is it more about their physical prowess and looks? – Chris Feb 4 '13 at 2:15
  • I, too, thought immediately of ascetic. The only problem with that word as an answer to your question is that it has no implications or connotations of intellectualism, just religiosity & meditation. Intellectualism is "devotion to the exercise of intellect or to intellectual pursuits" & intellectuals are "rational" & committed to knowing current as well as past ideas. Ascetics are as likely to be irrational (spiritual pursuits are not rational but emotional) as rational & not to study anything but their own cogitations. – user21497 Feb 4 '13 at 2:26
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A stoic may be thought of as such a person; one sense of this word is “a person indifferent to pleasure or pain”. The whole story of the meaning of stoic is somewhat more involved. Wikipedia's article on stoicism explains many of the ins and outs. It mentions, for example, that

The ancient Stoics are often misunderstood because the terms they used pertained to different concepts in the past than they do today. The word ‘stoic’ has come to mean ‘unemotional’ or indifferent to pain, because Stoic ethics taught freedom from ‘passion’ by following ‘reason.’ The Stoics did not seek to extinguish emotions; rather, they sought to transform them by a resolute ‘askēsis’ that enables a person to develop clear judgment and inner calm. ... The idea was to be free of suffering through apatheia ... or peace of mind ... Philosophy for a Stoic is not just a set of beliefs or ethical claims, it is a way of life involving constant practice and training (or askesis, see asceticism).

Note, while asceticism often entails “a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures”, it does not necessarily entail indifference to pleasure or pain, so asceticism by itself does not serve as a proper answer to the question.


In psychology, Anhedonia is a condition in which a person is unable to to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.

I reckon such a person would be oblivious of worldly pleasures and pain.

PS: I posted this answer since we are talking strictly psychology and I happen to have an author friend(read intellectual) who is diagnosed with this specific condition.


Schizoid was the term the person was referring to. Altough, it doesn't match exactly the description she gave me.

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