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Intelligence

Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 10:52:20 AM
What we have to remember when we think of intelligence: that the modern way of ascribing it ("IQ") is essentially flat and outward. Outward, because it only reveals dianoia (thinking), not noesis (knowing); flat, because highly developed dianoia can engage in the most vain topics (and will, as we all witness).

Superficiality and high "IQ" can go well together. Intelligence, in contrast, is never superficial.

Frithjof Schuon, Roots of the Human Condition, "On Intelligence"
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Intelligence is the perception of a reality, and a fortiori the perception of the Real as such.
It is ipso facto discernment between the Real and the unreal – or the less real . . .
Intelligence gives rise not only to discernment, but also – ipso facto – to the awareness of
our superiority in relation to those who do not know how to discern; contrary to what
many moralists think, this awareness is not in itself a fault, for we cannot help being
aware of something that exists and is perceptible to us thanks to our intelligence,
precisely. It is not for nothing that objectivity is one of man’s privileges.
But the same intelligence that makes us aware of a superiority, also makes us aware of
the relativity of this superiority and, more than this, it makes us aware of all our
limitations. This means that an essential function of intelligence is self-knowledge: hence
the knowledge – positive or negative according to the aspects in view – of our own
nature.
To know God, the Real in itself, the supremely Intelligible, and then to know things in
the light of this knowledge, and in consequence also to know ourselves: these are the
dimensions of intrinsic and integral intelligence, the only one worthy of the name, strictly
speaking, since it alone is properly human.
We have said that intelligence produces, by its very essence, self-knowledge, with the
virtues of humility and charity; but it may also produce, outside its essence or nature and
as a consequence of a luciferian perversion, that vice of vices which is pride. Hence the
ambiguity of the notion of “intelligence” in religious moralities, along with the
accentuation of a humility which is expressly extra-intellectual, and for that very reason
ambiguous and dangerous in its turn, since “there is no right superior to that of the
Truth.”
To the question of knowing whether it is better to have
intelligence or a good character, we reply: a good character. Why? Because, when this
question is asked, one is never thinking of integral intelligence, which essentially implies
self-knowledge; conversely, a good character always implies an element of intelligence,
obviously on condition that the virtue be real and not compromised by an underlying
pride, as is the case in the “zeal of bitterness.” Good character is open to the truth exactly
as intelligence faithful to its substance opens onto virtue; we could also say that moral
perfection coincides with faith, and thus could not be a social perfectionism devoid of
spiritual content.

Frithjof Schuon, To Have a Center, "Universal Categories"
Quote
Intelligence is the perception of the real and not the “intellectualization” of the unreal.


Whatever you honor above all things, that which you so honor will have dominion over you.

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 01:40:17 PM
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Frithjof Schuon, To Have a Center, "Universal Categories"
Quote
Intelligence is the perception of the real and not the “intellectualization” of the unreal.
This is an important point.  People who are of a higher "intelligence" (IQ) are better able to create rationalizations for their irrational beliefs.  Thus, the current state of academia.

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 04:53:21 PM
That outlook falls into the liberal-dualistic viewpoint however by assuming that high IQ is not a pre-requisite to intelligence.

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 05:11:58 PM
That outlook falls into the liberal-dualistic viewpoint however by assuming that high IQ is not a pre-requisite to intelligence.

I don't see how surmising that 'IQ does not automatically equal intelligence' necessarily translates to 'IQ is not required for intelligence', when one accepts that even those with high IQ can be vulnerable to accepting bad ideas that conflict with reality (in which a previous post pointed out academia as an example, but also layering & amount of rationalizations higher IQ can create around their own bad ideas). 

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 05:13:29 PM
That outlook falls into the liberal-dualistic viewpoint however by assuming that high IQ is not a pre-requisite to intelligence.

Not at all. It reveals a hidden dimension affecting intelligence: its quality. That hidden dimension is character.

All bright liberals believe lots of books written by atheist and liberal authors, plus three square meals a day makes geniuses. Our lack of geniuses, believes the liberal, means people are 99.99999% deprived of books and nutrition. The quality of thought given to us by these higher IQ liberals is utterly dismal. They're larger than average vessels to be sure, but they're brimming with liquified dung rather than purest nectar.

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 07:46:27 PM
The (not so) "hidden dimension" is the "nurture" half of the old equation.  It doesn't matter how awesome the machine is, if you load with Vista and use it to look up porn, it's gonna run like crap in no time at all.

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 09:00:29 PM
Obviously a major portion of nurture is non-brain parts of the body. Neural and vascular health, lipids, things that can help the brain function correctly. All the rest is context: what good is any literature to a successful hunter-gatherer society? This is why Flynn Effect maxes out at a 4-6 point IQ boost; thus nurture can be low as about 7% relevant, with heredity taking the lion's share for determing IQ. Overemphasis on nurture is utterly dismal thinking rooted in moronic feelings of guilt about human inequality.

Re: Intelligence
March 29, 2010, 10:45:42 PM
And an underemphasis on nurture creates a society of unhinged sociopaths that functions at something less than full efficiency, as history amply demonstrates.  People are born with personalities and proclivities: character must be built (and continuously maintained).

Re: Intelligence
March 30, 2010, 02:03:29 AM
You are not referring to intelligence itself but to what having or lacking nurture looks like from the outside. Actually, no unhinged society of sociopaths comes to mind. That's a fantasy example, not a real one.

Back to the topic: Low intelligence societies can have favorable cultural and nutritional nurturation, but this doesn't cause an increase in the population's intelligence among its select individuals. Over time, in a world of changing conditions, we'll see such a well nurtured, low intelligence society eventually loses out due to its inability to solve various group-affecting problems that happen along. An organized high intelligence group can enter their habitat and out compete them in different ways. They can also obliviously Easter Island themselves out of existence. So much for a time of nurture, which relies on extrinsic variables, for a low intelligence group.

They'll thrive sustainably for a long time when the following conditions are met:

  • where the climate is warm or body warmth is easily manageable with low tech
  • they remain out of contact or are protected from contact with modern industrial civilization
  • where other human competitors are scarce due to regional low population density
  • where protein sources are readily available all the time
  • they are able to migrate away from worsened ecological conditions or resource scarcity

Re: Intelligence
March 30, 2010, 04:23:06 AM
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You are not referring to intelligence itself but to what having or lacking nurture looks like from the outside. Actually, no unhinged society of sociopaths comes to mind. That's a fantasy example, not a real one.

Sparta, Tokugawa Japan and medieval Europe would seem to indicate otherwise.




Re: Intelligence
March 30, 2010, 07:14:03 PM
It reveals a hidden dimension affecting intelligence: its quality. That hidden dimension is character.

I think that's the elephant in the room here. Also, as others have noted, high intelligence (or at least moderately high intelligence) is a pre-requisite for having any character of depth.

People want a magic bullet, so they pick nurture or nature. Dumb. Nature is the essence, then you need to develop that intelligence.

I think that's why all of us write, publish, educate, etc. Otherwise, who would care?

Re: Intelligence
March 30, 2010, 08:08:10 PM
People want a magic bullet, so they pick nurture or nature. Dumb. Nature is the essence, then you need to develop that intelligence.

This seems to me to be the key.  Too often, I see people arguing for the heritability of intelligence as if it were a magic bullet.  As if the capacity for greatness and achievement is synonymous with actual greatness and achievement.  In a way, it lends itself to a sort of mirror image of the argument put forth by "nurture" proponents: my IQ is X, so any failure to achieve results commiserate with my potential must mean that the jealousy and fear of my inferiors is holding me back.  Intelligence is a potentiality, not a birthright: what separates the genius from burned out dilettante is hard work.


Re: Intelligence
April 01, 2010, 05:00:53 PM
Left field comment:  Don't forget chance.  People always forget about chance.  Chance plays a much bigger role than people generally like to think it does.  A genius won't accomplish much if he's mowed down by a drunk driver or sexually abused as a child or caught in a tornado.

Re: Intelligence
April 09, 2010, 10:22:19 AM
People are meat bags of poetential. Genetics determines how much potential we have, our ultimate limit to what we can do. Upbringing and training determine whether that poetential is actually met or not.
"Necessity knows no law except to conquer."
- Publilius Syrus

Re: Intelligence
April 09, 2010, 10:49:17 PM
Superficiality and high "IQ" can go well together. Intelligence, in contrast, is never superficial.

Can, but rarely do. Seriously, you're making a stupid argument here. Yes, we all know they have to be real people in addition to being smart. But so what? A real person who's also not smart is also not really effective at anything, so go for the smart ones.