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A philomath ("//; from "Greek φίλος philos ("beloved", "loving", as in "philosophy or "philanthropy) and μανθάνειν, μαθ- manthanein, math- ("to learn", as in "polymath) is a lover of learning and studying. Philomathes, a "lover of learning", has been contrasted to "philalethes, a "lover of truth". Philomathy is similar to, but distinguished from, philosophy in that -soph, the latter suffix, specifies ""wisdom" or ""knowledge", rather than the process of acquisition thereof. Philomath is not synonymous with polymath, as a polymath is someone who possesses great and detailed knowledge and facts from a variety of disciplines, while a philomath is someone who greatly enjoys learning and study.
The shift in meaning for mathema is likely a result of the rapid categorization during the time of "Plato and "Aristotle of their "mathemata" in terms of "education: "arithmetic, "geometry, "astronomy, and "music (the "quadrivium), which the Greeks found to create a "natural grouping" of mathematical (in the modern usage; "doctrina mathematica" in the ancient usage) precepts.
In a philosophical dialogue, "King James first penned the character Philomathes to debate on arguments of whether the ancient religious concepts of witchcraft should be punished in a politically fueled Christian society. The arguments King James poses through the character Epistemon are based on concepts of theological reasoning regarding society's belief as his opponent, Philomathes, takes a philosophical stance on society's legal aspects but sought to obtain the knowledge of Epistemon. This philosophical approach signified a philomath seeking to obtain greater knowledge through "epistemology. The dialogue was used by King James to educate society on various concepts including the history and etymology of the subjects debated.