Intellectual history refers to the history of the people who create, discuss, write about and in other ways propagate ideas. Although the field emerged from European discourses of Kulturgeschichte and Geistesgeschichte, the historical study of ideas has engaged not only western intellectual traditions, including, but not limited to, those in the far east, near east, mid-east and Africa.
Intellectual history is closely related to the history of philosophy and the history of ideas. Its central perspective suggests that ideas do not change in isolation from the people who create and use them and that one must study the culture, lives and environments of people to understand their notions and ideas. This is also frought with the sentiment of hostility towards, or mistrust of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits known as anti-intellectualism. This may be expressed in various ways, such as attacks on the merits of science, education, or literature.