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List of notable eccentrics
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List of notable eccentrics

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

Table of contents
1 Definition of eccentricity
2 Architects
3 Aristocrats
4 Artists
5 Athletes
6 Business
7 Entertainers
8 Political Leaders
9 Inventors
10 Occultists
11 Pranksters
12 Religious
13 Scholars and scientists
14 Writers
15 Others

Definition of eccentricity

Eccentricity is necessarily a relative definition. An eccentric is someone whose behaviour, beliefs and/or hobbies deviates in significant way from the accepted norms that the rest of the society that defines that person recognizes as proper or as traditional. He or she may be regarded as strange, odd or at least unconventional, irregular and erratic. Other people usually regard the eccentric with apprehension but also with considerable amusement.

The eccentric is usually alone with his beliefs. Although society may regard members of some subcultures like hippies and so-called computer geekss as deviators of a social norm, they have others with similar disposition to talk to. Eccentrics are usually too impractical to attract serious following even in the level religious movements, like breatharians and if they do, the followers are similarly non-threatening.

Rich and powerful people often behave in strange ways because they can afford it. However, an eccentric millionaire would not behave in a way society or other millionaires would recognize as typical - maintaining lavish surroundings, for example. Instead he could take his life to an opposite direction.

However, in many cases eccentricity is clearly intentional. Many comedians behave in eccentric ways even off-stage for professional reasons - to maintain their funny public image. Some entertainers and artists like Salvador Dalí use eccentric lifestyle to draw attention to themselves and exploit the common perception that creativity and madness are closely related. Athletes may behave in aggressive ways because it is part of their image as "tough guys" and as a way to intimidate their opponents.

There are historical cases where an eccentric may have taken the mantle intentionally for religious reasons (Holy fools of Russian folklore, for example) or used it as an unusual way to make a semblance of living. Some of their contemporaries may have regarded them with religious devotion.

Sometimes the eccentricity may be based of psychological problems. Many historical cases can be recognized as victims of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Eccentrics with possible mental problems are usually relatively harmless and may face only social ostracism and ridicule, and even some bemused affection and respect. Others' whose behaviour is radically different but dangerous, like mad rulers and serial killers are rarely regarded as eccentrics.

While some people would like to have them locked up as lunatics because they are a public nuisance, others regard them mainly with amusement or even recognize that eccentrics may be a source of new ideas. Some communities cherish their own village idiots.

Persons famous for their eccentric habits, appearance, or beliefs include:

Architects

Aristocrats

Artists

Athletes

Business

Entertainers

Political Leaders

Inventors

Occultists

Main article:
List of occultists

Pranksters

Religious

Scholars and scientists

Main article:
Mad scientist

Writers

Others

See also Impostors