When trying to understand a particular topic, a criterion for separating all thinkers into two (or a few) classes would be extremely convenient. Here are some striking distinctions:
- Naive and Sentimental poets (according to Schiller). Further applied to novelists by Orhan Pamuk.
- Foxes and Hedgehogs among intellectuals in general (Isaiah Berlin, borrowing from Archilochus).
- Mathematicians can be Birds or Frogs, says Freeman Dyson.
I believe these categories are memorable because they relate to temperament and thus cut across cultures and ages, unlike more abstract choices, such as Eleatic/Heraclitean, realist/nominalist, ancient/modern (in literature), etc.