Defining Intelligence
Posted: 01 June 2005 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Here is my basic definition:

* The ability to perceive and adjust to one's environment.

* The ability to grasp concepts  and to apply one's existing knowledge to manipulate one's environment.

What would you add to this?

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Posted: 01 June 2005 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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- Ability to see connections

- Ability to appreciate incongruence

- Ability to see past one’s own mental programming

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 02 June 2005 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Ability to recognize that definitions of intelligence are pretty hard to agree on.

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Posted: 02 June 2005 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I think Howard Gardner defines intelligence pretty well, categorizing different types such as intelligence relating to language, music, kinetic or mechanical ability, etc. Sorry I don’t have the particular book handy, but someone else probably does.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 03 June 2005 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Ability to ask oneself and logically answer the two questions one should ever have to ask oneself:
WHY and HOW

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Posted: 05 June 2005 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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It seems to me it’s important to keep intelligence distinct from wisdom, which isn’t very easy.

On a very simple (not terribly useful) level I’d say intelligence is the capacity and/or ability to learn, and wisdom is the capacity and/or ability to apply what you learn effectively.

I wonder about IQ tests and measuring IQ in general too. One of the more disturbing events in my life was taking an IQ test back in high school (mid ‘80s). At first my dominant emotional response was pride, but then it suddenly sank into a dull sense of dread when I realized the implications of the fact that 100 is average. Now I’m less credulous about what IQ scores really translate into . . . but the 100 schtick is still disturbing.

Byron (the skeptic)

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 05 June 2005 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“SkepticX”]It seems to me it’s important to keep intelligence distinct from wisdom, which isn’t very easy.

On a very simple (not terribly useful) level I’d say intelligence is the capacity and/or ability to learn, and wisdom is the capacity and/or ability to apply what you learn effectively.

I wonder about IQ tests and measuring IQ in general too. One of the more disturbing events in my life was taking an IQ test back in high school (mid ‘80s). At first my dominant emotional response was pride, but then it suddenly sank into a dull sense of dread when I realized the implications of the fact that 100 is average. Now I’m less credulous about what IQ scores really translate into . . . but the 100 schtick is still disturbing.

Byron (the skeptic)

Standard IQ tests are severely flawed, and your story above makes that fact clear. Don’t even worry about it, because you know how bright you are.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 06 June 2005 12:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“homunculus”]Standard IQ tests are severely flawed, and your story above makes that fact clear. Don’t even worry about it, because you know how bright you are.


I appreciate the sentiment, but I knew 100 was average before I took the test. My own score isn’t why my emotional response went South—that’s why it started out positive. It was disturbing to me when I considered the implications of the gap between that and my score (i.e. I’m no genius, and that’s a pretty big gap—hard to ignore or dismiss).

But I agree in any case—IQ is a very slippery notion to deal with, and IQ tests, it seems, are fundamentally susceptible to that “slipperiness” (lack of clarity and functional application, though I understand they are good predictors of academic success).

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 06 June 2005 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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ha Skeptic, I tested out in High School as “extremely gifted” and have been trying to live that down ever since.

I certainly don’t feel “gifted”.

I was put in a special class with extremely smart people and felt out of place till I finally dropped out of high school to go hitchhike around the US.

So, my take on IQ tests is…well… they are maybe useful for some things but certainly shouldnt be used to pigeonhole kids.

I maintain to this day it was a fluke.  When in doubt, choose C.

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Posted: 06 June 2005 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Intelligence is creative survival, imho.

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The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisedom
-William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”

Life, what is it but a dream?
- Lewis Carroll, “A boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

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Posted: 06 June 2005 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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There are actually a few things that, although seperate, come together in what we might typically think of as intelligence.

The ability to simultaneously consider a large number of knowns and unknowns, and then proceed to make useful (situationally accurate) inferences.

The ability to develop and retain methods for manipulating knowledge to produce derived knowledge.

The ability to establish conceptual boundaries (limits), thus allowing one to classify without (completely) defining.

The ability to accept inference as provisionally sound.

The ability to consider causality in both directions.

-Matt

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