The guitarist, who is currently on tour with his band The Dead Weather, appeared in front of the Philosophical Society and was later awarded an honorary patronage.
According to NME, White demonstrated "sophisticated engagement" as he discussed his musical beliefs.
Speaking of the importance of authenticity in the industry, White said: "I don't know if Bob Dylan and Tom Waits are as authentic as I think they are. Perhaps they're not."
He added: "Sometimes you start thinking that maybe Britney Spears or someone like that who's doing exactly what they want to do in the way that they best know how, is more authentic than any of those people you could mention."
White also discussed his recent film It Might Get Loud, in which he features alongside other guitarists such as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and U2's The Edge.
Previous members of the society, which dates back to the 17th century, include Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and JB Yates.