Paul Johnson, the conservative historian, wrote a book a while back called The Intellectuals, in which he described a number of philosophers, artists, mathematicians etc. and their less savory sides. Though the book was light on scholarship, it was a sort of fun gossipy read. The underlying theme in that book was that these great minds/people treated those around them like crap. I don't think the traits Salty mentioned: narcissism, hubris, passion, ego and alcoholism often lead to people treating others with respect and dignity.