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What is Intelligence?

Discussion in 'Metaphysics' started by Num7, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Num7

    Num7 Administrator

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    Intelligence: The ability to learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations.

    Above is the definition of intelligence that can be found in a dictionary. Now, what do you consider intelligence to be? Is it all about remembering things, or being able to understand them? Or both? Having a sharp mind?

    Do you believe there are different types of intelligence? For instance, I can be very good at building rocket engines, but I'm unable to talk in front of more than 5 people. Do such things count when we are measuring or comparing levels of intelligence? I.Q. scores can be relevant in some cases, while it's not for others. I could have an incredibly high I.Q. and be pretty dumb in some areas of my life. Classic example: A very intelligent nerd being unable to talk to girls!

    Also, how does intelligence works? How do we learn? Is it all based on experience, or are there other ways? What is our intelligence made of?

    What's your point of view? What is intelligence and how does it work?
     
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  2. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

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    Hard to say, since we rarely see any of it anymore.

    Harte
     
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  3. Khaos

    Khaos where the wild things are

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    Something this planet could use more of...
     
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  4. Freeform

    Freeform Member

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    I feel intelligence is an entirely relative term. If we judge it by ability to adapt, you have to ask yourself if the intelligent choice was somehow *not* having the ability to adapt, what would intelligence be then?

    I think to expand on the idea of "adaptation to a situation", we can assume that the intention is to attain the most beneficial result from a decision, which is in essence the decision that becomes the attempt at adaptation.

    To expand on that even more, there is the question of maximum return for an individual versus maximum return for a group based on an adaptive decision. While I am of the belief that we should attempt to benefit everyone, the textbook term "intelligence" refers to an individual, and so we are to wonder if intelligence refers to serving ourselves primarily before others.

    If we are to believe that intelligence is thinking of our own well-being primarily before others, we can assume that intelligence is relative to survival itself rather than adaptation.

    The problem with this definition is that the world we live in has many different methods of survival because it is a complex environment. There are many different ways people can survive and adapt because human behavior.

    If someone becomes an expert con-artist, are they highly intelligent by definition, or are they just skilled in the area of deceit? They have fit the definition of intelligence, yet deceit is morally considered wrong and not generally associated with intelligence, which in my opinion proves that the term is technically relative.

    More simply put - A farmer is an idiot at a law office, and a lawyer is an idiot on a farm.
     
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  5. RHYS

    RHYS Member

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    Read the essay by Isaac Asimov, entitled "What is intelligence, anyway?". You can Google it for free. It explores this question precisely.

    I believe many are born with some natural knowledge (from where, I don't know). Sometimes small manifestations that seem to point to a different/past life. The line between this and natural ability/logic is often hard to decipher. Ex: someone born with innate abilities that were never actually "taught" here. From milking cows to an affinity for fine arts, or "just knowing" trivia or obscure stats or info.

    This very topic is along the line of what keeps me researching a greater meaning for my existence. I've always had an unusual abundance of such things that don't always fit together. It's random, frustrating & I have not discovered the point of any of it... yet.

    One of the theories I accept best is past lives & that some ppl seem to have experienced life many more times (and grown in wisdom) more than others. Big difference between "knowledge" & "wisdom", btw.

    You might also look into the work of Dr. ian Stevenson - who presents some astounding case studies for past-life subjects (mainly children).

    Not trying to deflect the point of this thread, but to me, the question of intelligence may lie within the thought of living previously.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
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  6. PoisonApple

    PoisonApple Senior Member

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    Does being educated qualify you as being intelligent also? And vice versa; are you unintelligent if you're uneducated?
     
  7. RHYS

    RHYS Member

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    POISONAPPLE :

    I believe education is always integral to at least maintaining/increasing intelligence. To keep learning (not necessarily formal) keeps your mind from becoming stagnant. Unfortunately, tons of ppl totally gave this up beyond bare minimum.


    I come across ppl all the time who plain don't care. Going to school as a pup was only the beginning for a lifelong learner. In fact, I'm always stoked to discover something new. And maybe I'm even somewhat impulsive when it comes to wanting to absorb so many extra details from all angles.

    In turn, I think becoming intentionally closed-minded before learning other sides is definitely foolish. Even beliefs I consider virtual absolutes are subject to change if I consider enough counter evidence.

    I don't know if it's positive thinking or a personal goal, but I make a point to do wordpuzzles and a lot of reading trying to keep my mind sharp. I grew up filling in crossword answers for my grandma who had bad arthritis. Her mind was very keen until she passed at age 96.

    I know some royal dumbasses who irk me mainly because they have no passion for things or don't think for themselves. I could swing this whole discussion by them & would be lucky to get a "that's cool..." out of them.
     
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  8. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

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    I do the daily sudoku in my newspaper, as well as the crossword.

    I try to do the crossword by looking only at the "across" clues. Otherwise, I finish the sucker in under 5 minutes.

    I can usually complete one in 7 (once a week) that way. The others I eventually need to look at a couple (or more) "down" clues.

    Harte
     
  9. Rosco..Jones

    Rosco..Jones Active Member

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    What hasn't been mentioned up to this point is Animal intelligence. Apes, marine mammals, octopi, crows, squirrels and many other species do thing that show evidence of thinking and being able to figure out solutions to problems. Upon learning something new they may be able to share and teach others on what they have learned. Any intelligence found here did not require any formal schooling. So, is intelligence the ability to analyze data and find solutions to problems and nothing more?
     
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  10. Krish

    Krish Senior Member

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    I am improving my intelligence from Meditation, but quickly found out that, it is not a good thing. I got shunned by tons of famous people...when I exercised my intelligence.

    Hence please keep wishing for the planet...please...