I suppose I count as a scholar. At the very least, I’ve most of the outward trappings of one. Large diplomas bestowing increasingly pretentious titles. A doctoral dissertation slowly gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Several articles in academic journals. Lines on my CV with the words “assistant professor of philosophy” in them.
Yet I can—or could once upon a time—explain Plato’s cave to undergraduates, situate Kant’s views on aesthetics within his larger architectonic, and publish peer-reviewed interpretations of Mill.
Scholarship isn’t reading every last scrap of text. Scholarship is drawing new ideas from the texts you have read.