In answering Teach's question "Learning Abstract Math from First Principles?", I wrote
I find that anyone who says they "learned it from first principles" is usually putting on airs. It's an odd intellectual purity norm that I think is unfortunately very common among the mathematically- and philosophically-minded.
This does match my personal experience, but I also have some mild OCD tendencies that tie in with this stuff, and so it may just be me. What do other LWers think?