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16639317 No.16639317 [Reply] [Original]


Intelligence, in the sense that I use the word here, in the sense that it has etymologically and in the sense that it was used at the time that the words made sense, does not mean the ability to solve problems, the mathematical ability, the visual imagination, the musical aptitude or any other type of skill in particular. It means, in the most general and comprehensive way, the ability to apprehend the truth. Intelligence is not even about thinking. When we think, but our thinking does not exactly capture what is true in what we think, then what is at work in that thinking is not exactly intelligence, in the rigor of the term, but only the frustrated desire to intellect (understand) or even the pure automatism of an unintelligent thinking. Thinking and intellecting are completely different activities. The proof of this is that you often think, think, and don't intellect anything, and other times you intellect without having thought, in a sudden intuitive flash.

Intelligence is an organ - let's say: an organ - that only serves this purpose: to capture the truth. Sometimes it comes into operation through thought, sometimes through imagination or feeling, and sometimes it comes into operation directly, in an intellective - or intuitive - instantaneous act, in which you capture something without preparation and without a particular representative form that serves as a channel for intellection. At other times there is a long preparation through thought, imagination and memory, and in the end you do not capture anything very much: the representative acts having been completed, the intellection to which they were directed completely fails; given the means, the purpose is not realized. Intelligence is in the realization of the purpose, not in the nature of the means employed. And if the purpose of the means of knowledge is to know, and if knowledge is only knowledge in the full sense if you know the truth, then the definition of intelligence is: the potency to know the truth by any means.

>> No.16639321


The concept of truth, and all the discussions it raises, may be left for another occasion. For now, and taking the word “truth” provisionally in its common sense of coincidence between fact and idea, these elementary distinctions are enough to make us realize how erroneous the direction taken by the current “multiple intelligences” theory, which dissolves the notion of intelligence in a collection of skills - ranging from mathematical reasoning to physical dexterity and social skills - without noticing that all these capacities and other similar ones are means and that intelligence is not a means, but the act itself , the result to which these means tend and for which none of them is in itself - nor the sum of them all is in itself - a sufficient condition. The theory of multiple intelligences emerged as a reaction against the IQ theory, which in turn identified intelligence exclusively with verbal, mathematical and spatial-imaginative skills. But it is a typical case of replacing one falsehood with another. Whether there are few or many skills with which intelligence is identified, the error is the same: confusing intelligence with the instruments it uses.

This confusion happens because most people know themselves very poorly, even in practical things and in the most obvious aspects of life. How much more difficult would it be to grasp the subtle difference between representative acts and intelligence! Always seeing intelligence acting through thought, memory, imagination, feeling, they therefore confuse the channel with what passes through it, the vehicle with the passenger, and take “intelligence” as mere mental acts.

This mistake was eventually made official and legitimized by education. In general, all forms of teaching aim to increase the skills on which intelligence is based, such as memory, imagination, reasoning, etc., and do not give any importance to intelligence as such. The fact is that the entry into the scene of these other faculties does not necessarily entail that of intelligence. We can develop a lot of verbal reasoning, or visual imagination, or memory, or artistic aptitude, without actually having an intelligence directing your steps - the proof is that several of these skills are more developed in certain mental retardates than in the ordinary of people. In fact, if it is through reasoning that we sometimes intellect, it is also through it that we get mistaken. Likewise, sometimes the imagination leads us to the real understanding of something, but sometimes it takes us away from the truth. The development of these faculties, imagination, memory, reasoning etc., therefore, does not necessarily imply that of intelligence; vice versa is also true: that intelligence is independent of these other processes, which serve as channels, instruments and occasions and nothing else.

>> No.16639327


But the vice versa should not be taken in a strict sense, because an intelligence resolutely determined to discover the truth about something usually ends up finding the mental channels by which to reach its goal, that is, it develops the “faculties” that you need. Without excluding, therefore, that there are cases of even superior intelligences but lacking specific means or channels of action, I say that they are exceptions and rarities that previously confirm the rule: the development of means does not imply that of intelligence, that of intelligence leads almost necessarily to conquest of means.

If we define intelligence as the human capacity to capture what is true, we also understand that the essential of human beings, what differentiates them from animals, is not thought, it is not reason, nor an exceptionally developed imagination or memory, although all of this is effectively in the human being. For thinking, a monkey also thinks: it completes a syllogism and even links syllogisms in a relatively perfect reasoning. Imagination, even a cat has it: cats dream. By this way we will not find the specific human difference, what makes us men instead of animals. And, if it is important to root man in the animal kingdom, so as not to make him an angelic being without feet on the ground, it is also important to know how to distinguish him from a turtle or a mollusc by some difference that is not merely quantitative and accidental.

What makes us human is the fact that everything we imagine, reason, remember, we are able to see as a set and, with respect to this set, we can say yes or no, we can say: "It is true", or: "It is false". We are able to judge the veracity or falsity of everything that our own mind is going to know or produce, and that there no animal that can do.

But say the old Pilate in us will, quid est Veritas? Each of us is a Roman judge, corrupted to the medulla, pretending he doesn't know what he knows perfectly well. The truth of which you claim to know nothing, inauspicious Pontius, the truth is the quid - that same quid that, if you were unaware, you could not use it as a measurement of the term "truth". If I ask what something is, if I really ignore what something is, it is because the thing that is offered to me at that moment does not fulfill, does not perfectly meet the condition required in the word what - that consistency, that cohesion of being, acting and of suffering, that patency and above all that fatality, that not-being-in-another-way, that imposing absence of questions - and the ability to ask questions - that comes to me when I know the what. Ecce veritas. That is enough for now, without loss to further discussions and deepening.

>> No.16639338


There is no artificial intelligence

Nowadays, when talking about "artificial intelligence", it would be more accurate to say artificial thinking, or perhaps artificial imagination, because a certain sequence of thoughts, a set of operations of the mind, can be imitated in several ways. A set is imitated, for example, in writing. Writing is a graphic imitation of sounds, which in turn imitate ideas, which in turn imitate forms, functions and relations of things. Writing was the first form of artificial thinking. Any and every form of registration that man uses is already a type of artificial thinking, since it implies a code of conversions and permutations, and in this sense a computer program is not very different, for example, from a game rule: as in the game of chess, where a sequence of operations with many alternatives is conceived, crystallized in a certain scheme that can be imitated, repeated or varied according to a basic algorithm. There are many forms of artificial thinking, or artificial imagination. However, intelligence, properly speaking, cannot be artificial. Artificial thinking is essentially an imitation of acts of thought according to the formula of their sequences and combinations. In the same way we can imitate imagination and memory, if instead of using a bi-univocal correspondence between sign and meaning, we resort to a network of analogical correspondences. It is the same: in both cases, it is a matter of imitating an algorithm, the formula of a sequence or network of combinations, which in turn imitate the real operations of the mind. It turns out that intelligence is not an "operation of the mind"; it is the name we give to a certain quality of the result of these operations, regardless of the faculty that performed them or the code used. It is legitimate to say that an individual has understood something only when he has intellected the truth of that thing, be it by reasoning, by imagination or by any means. Even sentiment intellects, when it loves what is truly lovely and hates what is truly odious: there is an intelligence of feeling, just as there is a stupidity of feeling. Intelligence does not reside in the mind, but in a certain type of relationship between the mental act and its object, a relationship that we call the "veracity" of the content of that mental act (note: veracity of the content, not of the act itself).

>> No.16639343


Here one might object that when an artificial thought act reaches a true result, for example when a computer assures us that 2 + 2 = 4, this is an act of intelligence, since it gives us a truth. The difference here is as follows: the computer does not intellect (understand) that 2 + 2 = 4, but only performs the operations that result in 4, according to a pre-established program or algorithm. If it is programmed according to the rule that 2 + 2 = 5, it will not only always give this result, but will also generalize it to all similar cases, according to rule 2a + 2a = 5a. Intelligence does not consist only in arriving at a true result, but in admitting that result as true. What does "admit" mean? First, it means being free to prefer a false result (a computer can be programmed to prefer false results on a number of occasions, but always according to a pre-established pattern). Secondly, it means believing in that result, that is, taking personal responsibility for its affirmation and the consequences that derive from it. In this sense, intelligence is only permissible in free and responsible beings, and the first free and responsible being we know on the scale of the living is man: no being below him has intelligence, and if there are beings superior to man it is a problem that we are not interested at the moment and whose solution would not interfere with what we are examining here. Intelligence is the relationship that is established between man and truth, a relationship that only man has with the truth, and that he has only when he intellects and admits the truth, since he can become unintelligent in the instant next, when he forgets or denies it.

In this sense, the result of the 2 + 2 calculation that appears on the computer screen is a truth, but a truth that is in the object and not yet in the intelligence; this truth is on the screen as the true mineralogical structure of a stone is in the stone or as the true physiology of the animal is in the animal: they are latent truths, which lie in the obscurity of the objective world waiting for the moment when they will be updated in human intelligence. In the same way, we can think of a true idea without realizing that it is true; in this case, the truth is in thought as the truth of the stone is in the stone: the act of intelligence is only fulfilled the moment we perceive and admit this truth as truth.

In this sense, intelligence is more "internal" to us than thinking. Thought, for us, can be an object. Intelligence is not. The act of reflection by which we return to a thought in order to examine it or judge it is another thought, with a different content than the first. But remembering an act of intelligence is the very act of intelligence, reinforced and revived, in a new affirmation of itself. I cannot recall the content of an act of intellection without re-intellecting the same contents, almost always with redoubled strength of evidence.

>> No.16639356


If we define artificial thinking as the imitation, by electronic signals, of certain acts of thought, we will understand that artificial thinking is thought, that imitation of thought is thought, because thinking, after all, is just using signals or signs to represent certain data internal or external. But the imitation of intelligence is not intelligence, since there is intelligence only in the real act by which a real human being really apprehends a truth at the moment he apprehends it; in imitation we would have only a hypothetical subject apprehending hypothetically a hypothetical truth, whose veracity he can only assert hypothetically. All of this would be just thought, not intelligence.

Intelligence is only exercised in the face of a real, concrete situation: to intellect is to focus the attention on a present evidence. It is not to be confused with merely thinking a truth, as it consists in capturing the truth of that thought; nor is it confused with perceiving a color, a form, as it consists of apprehending the veracity of that color or that form; neither with remembering or imagining a figure, as it consists in assuming the veracity of that memory or imagination. That is why it is not possible to imitate an act of intelligence, because its imitation could be nothing but the copy of thought, or memory, or the image that served as a channel; but, if this copy were accompanied by the capture of its veracity, it would not be a copy, but the act itself, fully revived; and, if unaccompanied by this capture, it would be a copy of thought or imagination only, and not of the act of intelligence. And that thought or imagination, if true in its content, would have only the truth of an object, the latent truth of a stone or of a calculation displayed on the computer screen, waiting to be illuminated by the act of intelligence that would transform it into actual truth, effective, known.

>> No.16639361


A computer can only judge veracity or falsity within certain parameters that are already in its program, that is, falsity or veracity related to a code given beforehand, a code that can be entirely conventional. That is, he does not judge the veracity, but only the logic of the conclusions, without being able to establish premises or principles for himself. Now, the logic, strictly speaking, has nothing to do with veracity, since it is only a relationship between propositions, and not the relationship between a proposition and real experience. When I say real experience, I am not only referring to the everyday experience of the five senses, but to the total field of human experience, where the scientific experience made through devices and subjected to rigorous measurements fits only as one modality among an infinity of others. Intelligence, when judging veracity or falsity, can do so in absolute and unconditional terms, regardless of the parameters used and the reference to one or another determined field of experience; and it is precisely this unconditional knowledge of unconditional truth that can then establish the parameters of conditionality or relativity, as well as philosophically legitimize the divisions of fields of experience, for example in the delimitation of the spheres of the various sciences.

>> No.16639371


Evidence and certainty

The term “intuition” designates in Philosophy a direct knowledge, a maximally evident intellection (which does not mean that it should be confused with the subjective feeling of certainty). Example of an act of intuitive intelligence: the fact that you are here at this moment is an absolute and unconditional certainty, which does not mean that you cannot doubt it, that you cannot even, by an ingenious game of imagination, have the feeling of the certainty of being somewhere else; it just means that you will only doubt it and only believe you are elsewhere if you feel your field of experience as divided into watertight blocks, if you lose the sense of unity of the field of experience, which only happens in fantasy, in the hypnotic state or schizophrenia. When your intelligence admits that you are here, you are admitting as true a certain interpretation that you make of the set of information you have at this moment, but not only about this moment, but about the fit between it and the preceeding moments and those moments that will follow it. You know you're here not only because of the sensitive information you receive about the environment, auditory, tactile information, etc., but also because you know that this information is consistent with the past (you remember coming here), are consistent with a future project, that is, with an idea you have about the purpose for which you came here; and all this forms a system so cohesive, so inseparable, that in relation to this whole you pronounce the judgment that this is true: You know you are here. However, it would not be unthinkable that, being here, you imagined you were somewhere else, and that you even persuaded yourself and, somewhat self-hypnotically, "felt" that you were somewhere else. All of this can be produced; however, if the sense of unity of the field of your experience still works, something will tell you: this is false. Why? Because the information that says you're here comes together; whereas the ones you’re producing to say you’re somewhere else come in pieces. Examine it. What did you imagine about the other place where you supposed to be? the sound? the visual? One or another? They certainly weren't both at exactly the same time and in a consistent proportion. Was the reason, the temporal antecedent of your presence there, as clear to you as the visual or auditory sensations? No: but the information you receive here about your presence is all glued together.

>> No.16639375


You don't take the visual first, then the auditory, then the tactile, that is, you do not compose this environment, it comes all together; and although you may, by abstraction, momentarily pay more attention to one aspect than the other, you know and remember that the neglected aspects are there and can be updated in perception at any time, without an internal work of voluntary construction (that to you would be required to complete the image of the other supposed place, where you would supposedly be or feel to be while you are actually here).

This certainty that you have to be here is what is called evidence. Evidence is an undeniable knowledge, even indestructible, because if you said you were not here, who would it say it to? Who is there, or who is here? The very act of saying that you are not here implies that you are.

There are, in certain thoughts that we have, this character of veracity, but we do not know how to define exactly what it consists of; we only know that we confer this veracity on some thoughts and that we deny it to others. For example, here we deny the veracity to the thought that we are not here. It is this faculty - the one that says "yes" or "no" to thoughts, imaginations and feelings, that judges them as totality and says "is true" or is "is false" - that we call intelligence.

>> No.16639386


Intelligence and will

Intelligence, in short, is the sense of truth, and an apt, skilled or strong intelligence is an intelligence that is used to discerning truth and falsehood in all circumstances of life, to accept the truth and to remain in it.

By this I mean that intelligence is not exhausted in the mere cognitive aspect: if the power to know the truth constitutes the seed of intelligence, this seed only blooms on the initiative of the will, and also by the will it weakens and dies. Will means the exercise of freedom. When you grasp that something is true, it means that you have accepted that it is true, and when you grasp that it is false, it means that you have rejected it. Now, whoever accepts or rejects is not a faculty in particular, but you wholy, in an act of free will. This means that intelligence is indissolubly the synthesis of a cognitive aptitude and a desire to know. If there were a teaching focused on the development of intelligence, he would have to, first of all, get the student used to wanting the truth in all circumstances and not run away from it. Therefore, the exercise of intelligence necessarily has an ethical, moral side. Plato said: "Known truth is obeyed truth."

If intelligence were a purely cognitive faculty, nothing would prevent it from being exercised equally well by the good and the bad, by the sincere and the fake, by the honest and the bastard. In reality, things don't happen that way, and inner dishonesty necessarily produces a weakening of intelligence, which ends up being replaced by a kind of cunning, ingenious evil. The cunning does not consist in capturing the truth, but in capturing - certainly with veracity - which is the most efficient lie on each occasion. The astute is effective, but he is condemned to fail in situations he cannot get away with by some subterfuge, which require a confrontation with the truth. The connection between intelligence and goodness is recognized by all the great philosophers of the past, as is the corresponding connection, on the side of the object, between truth and good. A world that denies this connection, that makes intelligence a “neutral” faculty, capable of functioning as well in the good as in the bad, such as breathing or digestion, is a frankly bad world, which prides itself on its evil as an achievement of science, by which he rises above the civilizations of the past. Mauriac noted, “in fallen beings, this ability to beautify their decay. It is the ultimate illness that man can get: when his dirt dazzles him like a diamond ”.

>> No.16639391


The connection I am referring to comes up with peculiar clarity when we examine the following facts. Often our actions are not accompanied by words that explain them, not even inwardly; that is, we are able to act in certain ways, explaining these acts in exactly the inverse way, precisely because the true motivations, remaining unexpressed and silent, evade conscious judgment. This makes us, at least subconsciously, feed a double discourse. As soon as you admit that something is true, but proceed, even in secret, even inwardly, as if it were not, you are maintaining a double discourse: on one plane it affirms one thing, and on another it affirms something else. The truth has few opportunities to emerge clearly for us, and the human mind works in a way that, when you deny certain information, the subconscious suppresses all analogous information, so that when you say to yourself one certain lie that is convenient for you, for practical or psychological reasons, or to preserve yourself from unpleasant feelings, at the same moment that you suppress this information you suppress a series of others that would be useful to you and that you did not intend to suppress. For this reason, the inner lie is always harmful to intelligence: it is a scotoma that spreads until the entire field of vision is darkened and replaced by a complete system of errors and lies. When we get used to suppress the truth in relation to our memories, to our imagination, to our feelings and actions, this suppression never stays just in that sector where we touch, but it spreads to other territories around us and, becoming unable to intellect a certain thing, we become unable to intellect many others as well.

The defense against uncomfortable truths also becomes a defense against the truth in general, against all truths. Later, when we want to study a certain subject that interests us, or understand what is going on in our life, and we do not succeed, we will hardly realize that it was ourselves who caused this injury of intelligence.

I notice in many intellectuals today a disgust, an instinctive defense against the truth, to the point that, even when they want to accept it, they have to put it in an envelope of lies. The worst thing about this is that this injury is often compensated by a hypertrophic development of the auxiliary faculties, in a useless ornamental overgrowth, such as the breasts that grow in some women after menopause. Many of these injured intelligences reach success in the intellectual professions.

>> No.16639395


Small and large truths

When the word “truth” is spoken in public, in today's cynical environment, some smartass soon appears, repeating Pontius Pilate's question and parading before us, as if they were the greatest novelty, the old skeptical arguments, whose refutation is classically the first degree of philosophical learning. Many of these people have a somewhat posed, theatrical, and romanticized notion of the word “truth”. They are only willing to admit that man can know the truth if someone shows them the total, universal and complete truth about the most difficult questions, and since no one satisfies this demand, they conclude, with the classical skepticism, that all truth it is unknowable. But this kind of demand does not express a sincere search for the truth. The sincere search goes from humble and common truths to supreme truths, accepting those as the path for these, without immediately demanding, despotically, the final answers to all questions.

An example of humble, yet sure, firm truth, which you can use as a model for evaluating other possible truths, is given by what you know - and which only you know - about your own history, especially about the inner history of your feelings, motivations, desires, etc.

If there were a teaching focused on the development of intelligence, he would have to start by proposing to the alumnus, the student, principiant or postulant, a kind of review of his memories, that is, telling his story rightly (similarly to what is done in psychoanalysis). Everything that is true has a cohesive character, because true information cannot be artificially isolated from another information that is also true and has with it a relationship of cause and effect, contiguity, similarity and difference, complementarity, etc.; so this means that if you admit an A and a B, you will have to admit a C, D, E, F, etc. The truth always has a systemic, organic character, which is why its capture by personal intelligence requires an opening of the personality, a predisposition to accept all the truths as such they are revealed, without any previous selection of convenient truths.

>> No.16639401


Resignation of intellectuals

What would happen if, in a given society, there were a large number of people able to judge for themselves and perceive the truth, not on all points, but on the points of greatest interest to society, or on those that are most urgent? There would be more sensibleness, the debates would lead to more just conclusions, the decisions would have a more realistic meaning. Now, in a society where everyone is persuading each other of things that they themselves are not persuaded, where everyone is trying to deceive themselves, or where everyone is looking for help from others to deceive themselves more easily, all discussions verse about ghosts, decisions vanish into mere dreams, frustrations lead people to a state of exasperation from which they seek to escape through new fantasies, and so on. This happens in the religious, political, moral, economic and even scientific fields. We can move on to another definition, and say that a country has its own culture when it has enough people capable of perceiving the truth for themselves, and who need not be persuaded by anyone. These people act as a kind of inspectors of the collective intelligence. In our country (Brazil), the number of people like this is scandalously scanty. People in charge of perceiving the truth for themselves must have an intelligence trained for this, they must have an intelligence docile to the truth and be the first to perceive and understand what is going on. This is what constitutes a national intelligence, a national intellectuality.
Authentic intellectuality is not necessarily constituted by people who exercise professions linked to culture or intelligence, but by the people who, exercising or not those professions, carry out the corresponding actions of them. It is not necessary to go very far to say that the global fortune of a country depends on having a layer of people like that, in order to be able, in times of difficulty, to make this modest contribution that is simply telling the truth.
In Brazil we have an astonishing number of people working in cultural activities, writers, teachers, artists, generally subsidized by the government, but who do not even think about fulfilling the elementary obligations of the intellectual life; all they do is support each other in a collective discourse, reaffirm the same beliefs of a purely selfish and subjectivist origin, express collective and personal desires and prejudices, promote the fad. These people live complaining that in this country there are few funds for culture. But to do that what they call culture, they already receive much more money than they deserve. Filmmakers, theater directors, etc., constitute a privileged caste, which is payed by the government to publicly display cheap emotions, affect indignation and pose as "wonderful people" in apartments on Av. Vieira Souto.

>> No.16639408


Of course, people are always free to choose between truth and lies, and even knowing the truth they can again deceive themselves; however, the possibility that they deceive themselves is much greater when no one ever tells them the truth. What happens when people who exercise intellectual or cultural professions only exercise them in order to make them an instrument of support for their own inner lie, that is, they exercise these works in the purely oratory or rhetorical sense of inducing people to errors and illusions? I firmly affirm that this is the case with Brazilian intellectuals, who almost entirely use cultural professions to make Brazilian people and opinion serve them, confirming their beliefs, of which they have no personal certainty, and for which precisely for this reason seeks to garner collective support.
There are sectors where very wide insecurity is possible and the free exchange of opinions of similar value, but in other sectors it is not. However, the fact is that when intellectuality as a whole stands before the public in an attitude of flattering persuasion, then intellectual life is being prostituted, and when it is prostituted, I ask: how can we desire more ethics, more honesty, in politics or in business, if broad ranges of the working population have no idea what is true or false? How is it that the intellectuality can at the same time preach a dissolving relativism, where the criteria of true and false are diluted to the point of becoming indistinguishable, and at the same time demand that politicians be honest and tell the truth to the people? People in this situation could not be honest even if they wanted to, because they do not know what is right, they have no moral conscience, they are rude and insensitive from a moral point of view.
So there is no doubt that the corruption of society begins with the corruption of the intellectual layer, not with the corruption of business or politics: on the contrary, there are countries where the rich and powerful men are very corrupt and yet the country works well; there are countries where the politicians are corrupt and yet the country does not grossly mistake itself in the solutions to ts own problems. But in a country where the intellectual stratum, which is the stratum professionally charged with examining the truth and telling it, begins to deceive itself, it won't matter at all if all politicians are honest.

>> No.16639411


If from the point of view of utility for the individual the objective of this course is the development of his intelligence, from the social, cultural point of view, the objective of the course is to provide people for a future true intellectual elite. What is an intellectual elite? People that are as trained to understand the truth as a boxer is trained to fight and a soldier to make war.
In this sense, all the nations that achieved a place of greatness in history had such an elite, formed long before the country reached any economic, political, military projection, etc. For it is not possible to solve problems first and become intelligent later. In every debate on national problems that is currently going on there is only one thing that everyone is forgetting: Who will solve these problems? Who will examine them? Who has the capacity to examine them with effective intelligence? If these people do not exist, then the initial problem is to train them. The prioritary objective of this course is exactly that, if not to form, at least contribute to form, tomorrow or later, throughout perhaps twenty or thirty years, a true intellectual elite.

>> No.16639423


“Own opinion” and “autonomous judgment”

Having seen the objectives of the course, it is necessary, in relation to the individual, not only to develop intelligence, but to make it become the backbone of this individual's behavior, that is, that he leads a life guided by intelligence. With this he will finally become autonomous and reliable in his judgments, within the measure possible to the human being.
An important distinction is the one that exists between personal judgment, that is, you being able to think for yourself, and what is just a personal opinion. Nowadays everyone is keen to have an opinion of their own, but this is not the same as thinking for yourself. Thinking for yourself is not just having an expression, an opinion that expresses your preference, your taste (in fact generally much less personal than is claimed) or your individuality, but it is being able to, alone and without help, examine an issue and come to a true or sufficient conclusion about it, and that, far from seeking to be different from the opinion of others, more or less coincides with the opinions of other people who have themselves examined the subject, so that each examining for itself and without any external coercion, comes to more or less the same conclusions.
To think for yourself is to be able to reach the truth alone, and not to invent just a personalized lie. In fact, one of the conditions for the development of intelligence is that you do not insist on having your own opinion, that is, you do not insist on your opinion being different from that of other people, on the contrary, just insisting on examining things for yourself, without the need for crutches, without the approval of the majority or anyone else, in order to reach a conclusion in the end, so that you express less a natural agreement or disagreement, but that agreement or disagreement is produced by a reflected examination of the subject.
Being able to examine for yourself is more important than having a different opinion than others.

>> No.16639433


The state of doubt

The development of intelligence requires yet another thing, which is tolerance towards the state of doubt, which is a psychological state that is defined by two contradictory and simultaneous statements of apparently equal credibility. In other words, when examining a question, saying a yes and a no with equal conviction, that is, believing in both a hypothesis and the opposite hypothesis, to have equal reasons for and against.
In almost all the matters we deal with, there is no time and there is no practical condition to get out of the state of doubt. The individual who either has no vocation for the life of intelligence or has deviated from it for any reason, feels it is very urgent to get out of the state of doubt; he needs to have an opinion anyway, he needs to speak up, he needs to reach a yes or a no, and this need is experienced as more urgent than to know the truth.
In this case, intelligence does not develop, as it is replaced by the simple search for security, since doubt is a state of insecurity. If we want to develop intelligence, we have to make a choice: to prefer to remain in doubt rather than having pseudo-certainty. It is obvious that certainty is preferable to doubt, but it is only really preferable when it is an authentic certainty, and not simply an individual preference.
So another requirement for the development of intellectual life is a kind of vow of poverty in terms of opinions, a vow to have an opinion on very little and to reserve yourself to give an opinion on things that you actually had time to think about, and on the rest you consent to remain in doubt, even if needed for the rest of your life.
A firm certainty is preferable to a million doubts, but unfortunately, if we want to develop intelligence, we will have to tolerate the state of doubt, the state of uncertainty, for longer than people usually tolerate. In addition to making this vow of poverty in matters of opinion, there is a need for yet another type of vow of poverty, which is the renunciation of seeking support, that is, you do not believe that the number of people who support you represents an effective argument in favor of the truth of what you are saying. In all the most difficult issues, the majority is generally wrong, that is, in general, the most immediate consensus is made around a mistake. Why? So it said Sto. Tomás de Aquino: The truth is the daughter of time.

>> No.16639441


The truth usually takes time to appear. If it is necessary, if it is absolutely necessary to seek support in a majority opinion, then it is better to rely on the opinions that humanity has conserved intact throughout the ages, that have resisted unscathed to the changes and the wear and tear of time, than on those that simply form the majority voice of our time, and who are at serious risk of becoming a minority tomorrow or the day after.
Saying it in another way: if any value has the opinion of the majority, it is not that of the momentary majority, of the market majority, fleeting and inconstant, but that of the human majority, of the majority of the human species in all times and places: quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus credita est, "what everyone, everywhere, has always believed in".
Still with regard to the formation of an intellectual elite, it goes without saying that it is not absolutely necessary for members of such an elite to have agreeing opinions, in fact if they have dissenting opinions it may even be better in certain circumstances. But there are some points with which it is necessary to be in accord, in the first place, in regards to the value of intelligence, the value of truth, and the possibility of the human being to discover the truth.
Faith in the power to reach the truth is the initial condition of any philosophical investigation, said Hegel. If we do not believe in the possibility of reaching the truth, we will make no effort to seek it. It's necessary to persuade yourself that it is possible to discover the truth, but not always the final truth, not always the absolute truth, and above all not always the truth about all things.
In many things it is possible to reach an absolute final truth, in many more things than is usually imagined, but in much less things than we would like. In most cases we will have to settle for a probabilistic certainty, and sometimes just a verisimilitude, and sometimes much less than that, and maybe settle for a doubt that will accompany us to the grave.
However, in the same measure that the individual trusts human intelligence in general, he must distrust his own opinion, which is a little the opposite of the attitude that is spreading today, where people say not to believe in absolute truths but believe with absolute faith in those relative truths that please them: there there's a disgusting mixture of intellectual relativism and fanatic emotional dogmatism.
Even though we recognize the difficulty of reaching the truth in almost all matters, we must admit that, at least in relation to some modest things, we can verify the human possibility of reaching the truth, since the moment we cultivate the notion of evidence and, above all, we cultivate the norm of never denying that we know that what we actually know.

>> No.16639459


Self-awareness, birthplace of truth

It is important to learn to admit what you know to be true. Even if they are insignificant truths, meditating about the obvious is perhaps the best way to get used to the truth and to lose the fear of it and the unfair distrust in relation to the power of intelligence. For example, even though almost all the knowledge that exists is relative or doubtful, you know that you cannot seriously doubt that you are here at the moment; you can pretend you're not, but you can't really doubt. If there is so much obvious knowledge about insignificant things, imagine where we could go if we could get evidence of this type with respect to really important things! The sense of truth develops out of the sense of evidence itself, and the sense of evidence is rooted in what you already know and know you know. When you really know something, you automatically know that you know, and if you know that you know, you know that you know that you know. This means that any effective knowledge also implies the awareness of this knowledge and the full admission of its veracity. Intelligence, therefore, also has a volitional aspect, inseparably linked to the cognitive aspect.

Where does conscience training to admit the truth begin? The first degree in learning the truth consists in you learning to recognize those truths that only you know and that no one but you can confirm or deny. For example, only you know your intentions, only you know the acts you performed in secret, only you know the feelings you did not confess. You, in these cases, are the only witness, and that is where you will know the radical and insurmountable difference between truth and falsehood. People who live denying of the existence of truths do not know this experience, they never gave anything but false testimony of themselves before the court of conscience, they lie to themselves and for this reason they feel that everything in the world is a lie.
Hegel said: self-awareness is the birthplace of truth. And Giambattista Vico observed that we only know perfectly well what we ourselves did: to know nature perfectly well only God knows, because He did it. However, our own acts alone only we ourselves can know, as well as our thoughts and our inner states. There is no one there who can inspect us, there is no one who can defend us from ourselves.

>> No.16639471


The degrees of certainty

If we want to develop a sense of certainty, then we have to ask ourselves exactly about those things that only we know and that no one can know better than ourselves. These will provide the model for all other certainties. Learning any knowledge is perfectly useless if there is no reflective awareness, which consists of the phrase: I know I know, or its complementary opposite, which is I know I don't know.

Even on dubious subjects, with a little thought you can draw the line between possible and impossible knowledge. It would be enough for us to capture the degree of certainty or doubt that exists in each knowledge already possessed. There are four possible degrees of certainty:

conjecture of the possible.

Certainly it is for example this one that says "I am here now" or "I am myself and not another".

What is a probable opinion? It is an opinion where you can only have an evident (apoditic) certainty regarding a determined or determinable degree of probability.

In other cases you can't even have that, you can only have an indeterminate probability, that is, verisimilar, not a strict probability.

And finally, in some cases we can only have conjectures, such as asking if there is intelligent life on other planets. Some will say yes, others will not, and those who say yes are as right as those who say no. There we know only one generic possibility, impossible to graduate probabilistically.

Here's a good way for you to clean up your intellectual universe, to start over in good order. It is about asking yourself the following questions: Of the set of things you have studied, what are the ones that you know with absolute certainty? Which ones do you know as reasonable probability? Which ones do you know as verisimilar conjecture? Which ones do you know as a mere possibility? In short: how much is each of the knowledge you have worth?

Here is a bitter truth: if, in respect of a subject, you believe to have certain knowledge of but you do not know whether that knowledge is certain, verisimilar, probable or conjectural, you know absolutely nothing about it. Knowledge assessment is part of knowledge itself. If there is no clear assessment of the already acquired knowledge, you do not know the distinction between what you know and what you do not know, and this is the same as not knowing anything. It would be the case to ask: What good is an education that teaches you a lot of things, but that does not teach you to evaluate and judge what you learn? There is no difference between you knowing something and you being able to separate the true from the false in it, because to know is to know how to distinguish the true from the false, it is this and nothing more than this. If you applied this grid of distinctions to everything you have already read or studied, if by it you classified all your opinions, imagine the mountain of veridical knowledge that you would have at the end.

>> No.16639478


To form conviction is to form degrees of conviction. Example: Do you know that God exists with the same certainty that you know that you exist? If God exists, He is good: this is obvious. It would be good if God existed: this is also obvious. Now, between thinking it would be good for God to exist and thinking that God does exist there's a long distance. So, for example, if I have an argument with a person and I think I am right and he is wrong, what do I mean? I mean: It would be good if I was right and he was wrong, or rather, it would be good for me. Now, between thinking that it would be good for me to be right and actually being absolutely right, the distance is also huge. So, unfortunately, we can't be as sure about so many things as we usually pretend we are. But if you remove a lot of false certainties from your universe of beliefs, you will see that in the end there are some unshakable certainties left, and these are worth a lot. But if you want to preserve all your convictions equally, on the same plane, without critical scaling, in the end they will all be mixed, you will not have legitimate certainty of any, and you will end up doubting even that two plus two are four, that you are here right now and even that you exist. False certainty is the mother of pathological doubt.

Often what happens is that the individual ends up being absolutely sure of things entirely conjectural, and having doubts about things that are obvious and undeniable, because he does not know how to balance his certainties and his doubts according to the greater or lesser security of knowledge itself. Of course, there are things that we would like to be sure of. Wouldn't you like to be sure, for example, of the immortality of the soul? Many times we need some knowledge, and this knowledge steals itself, denies itself. But other times there is knowledge that you believe to not need and it is accompanied by absolute certainty: so why don't you accept it? Apparently useless but certain knowledge is less harmful than apparently useful but false knowledge. If we learn to assess the degrees of certainty not simply according to our desire, but according to the thing itself, according as the subject itself admits greater or lesser certainty, we will have made our mind a docile instrument to the degrees of certainty offered by reality itself. This would even spare you enormous work. It would spare you the trouble of having to argue in favor of things that are obvious and that need no argument to support them, as well as spare the trouble of arguing in favor of the indefensible, the arbitrary, the nonsense.

>> No.16639489


This sense of docility to the truth apprehended by one's conscience is transmitted to the students of this course as a practice, not only as a homework to be done from today to tomorrow, but as a practice for the rest of their lives. Given any knowledge, the student is incessantly invited to ask the four decisive questions: Is this veridical? Is it probable? Is it verisimilar? Is it possible? The degrees of certainty criterion is used at all times in this course; it is the first lesson and also the last. And the first thing that should be reviewed with this criterion is any subject that you have already studied formally. Only with this review will you already see that the mass of knowledge, of acquired information, begins to acquire an organic, intelligible form, and for the first time you have a clear idea of the culture you have and of that which you lack: when the universe of your knowledge acquires a form, you acquire reflective awareness of what you know and of what you don't know.

>> No.16639496


The topography of ignorance

The development of reflective awareness can be exemplified in the following practice that I give to students in this course:

At all times we are acquiring information that comes to us through the five senses, reading, hearing-saying, etc., but to some of them we pay attention to and value, and to others not.
So I ask: where do you always look, where do you look frequently, where do you look from time to time and where do you never look? It is precisely the awareness of this selection that will give you the topography of the world, of your world. No personal world coincides extensively, quantitatively, with the objective world. But an integrate personal world, endowed with unity as a living organism, already looks like the objective world precisely because of this organic unity and, essentially at least, it is an adequate map of the world, whereas the brittle, fragmentary and mechanical inner world doesn't look like anything but itself, with the fantasies of human creation. The difference is not in the amount of information, but precisely in its topography.

The self-conscious topography produces a sense of profile, of clarity of things. This is exactly what reflective awareness will do with your knowledge. Once you know you know, you do effectively know. And knowing that you know is also knowing when you don't know. The generic and vague proclamation of ignorance is just an intervened vanity, but the organized and critical repertoire of our ignorance is knowledge, effective and very important knowledge. The design of ignorance, the profile of ignorance, is a primordial knowledge. And this profile of ignorance is made exactly by applying the grid of degrees of certainty. If you manage to map, on the one hand, your ignorance, and on the other, the possible value of your acquired knowledge, you will have laid the foundations for a brilliant intellectual life.
Do you see now the difference between a teaching focused on cognitive faculties (memory, imagination, reasoning, etc.) and a teaching focused on intelligence? What matters here is not so much knowledge, but awareness of knowledge. Conscience, cum + scientia, is this: knowing that you know what you know.

>> No.16639508


An awakened conscience not only makes the knowledge you already have clearer, but it leaves you prepared and almost enhanced for the acquisition of new knowledge with much more utilization than before; and then, for you to be able to dominate a whole new sector of science, of history, of art, sometimes you will need nothing more than to have help to get to the first principles of that area, the rest you will discover alone, because you will have conquered the sense, the “nose” of the unity of knowledge, and you will learn many things in a more or less synthetic and simultaneous way, where before you needed detailed explanations, repetitions, exercises, etc. Of course, it's clear that this greater integration of consciousness, with the consequent increase in learning capacity, does not occur only in the area of formal studies, but in all areas of life, which will gradually reveal their interconnections. The benefit this brings is not only of an intellectual order, but extends to the whole psyche, to the whole personality.

Starting from the principle that everyone already knows something - they know because they live, they know because they have memory, because they watched events, because they read a book, because they heard about it, because they saw television, because they read the newspaper, and so something is always known - then it remains to transform this knowledge into self-awareness. If effective knowledge, if intelligence is fundamentally identified with self-awareness, the knowledge you have will only become intelligent knowledge if it is self-conscious knowledge, that is, if you pass all this knowledge through the following questions:

To what degree do I really know this?
How much is this knowledge worth?
What would be missing for it to be complete?

In other words, to start by reviewing the things you believe you know.

>> No.16639521


It is worth mentioning that this knowledge does not refer only to the things studied formally through official education channels, but above all to those studies, experiences and thoughts that sedimented certain convictions in you.
Another important point to emphasize is the fact that when you dedicate, for professional or school obligation not assumed inwardly but only imposed from the outside, greater attention to topics that do not interest you deeply, and do not get to develop an authentic interest, but deal with the subject with peripheral attention and as if on autopilot, you will harm your intelligence and depart almost necessarily from the truth.
Because if intelligence is the capability of grasping the truth and of grasping it in a true situation, the simple fact that you dedicate a false attention to the subject is already an impediment to the knowledge of the truth, it is an addiction that does not help you at all in developing intelligence.
We can only use intelligence with one hundred percent of its strength where there is one hundred percent interest, and unfortunately the interest does not depend entirely on us, because the interest we have for this or that problem may come from an external situation, of a casuality, of a contingency, of a fear, of a fortuitous desire, and so on.
This also means that the process of developing intelligence cannot follow a predetermined program as in the study of a particular discipline. It has to come and go, more or less in the flavor of the flow of the real interests of the moment and the possibility of developing new interests.

Translated from: https://olavodecarvalho.org/inteligencia-e-verdade/

This is the archived thread page: >>https://warosu.org/lit/thread/S16639317

I did this because you all need it (seeing for the thousands of threads asking and saying the same nonsensical things over and over again, and i have seen this issue on /sci/, /pol/ and other boards too).

This is a literature board, don't be lazy and get to reading, that's all.

>> No.16640227 [DELETED] 


>> No.16641095

A literature board where people don't or can't read 14 pages and think about it, amazing

>> No.16641106

This sounds like a load of horse shit.

>> No.16641122

You sound like a puffed up baboon.

>> No.16641319

>Dumb faggot redefines intelligence in the first few sentences
>Not gonna read this garbage

>> No.16641325

I'm about to barf

>> No.16641539

>I'm about to barf

Does it really not exist in English? I didn't know English was such a limited language that it doesn't allow words from the language it borrowed most of it's structure from

The opposite, it's beautiful and very relevant

I like monkeys

>Dumb faggot redefines intelligence in the first few sentences
The common modern thoughtless definition of intelligence is insufficient and leads to severe mistakes in reasoning and has even created entire areas based on a faulty mistake of thinking (artificial intelligence) as it mistakes intelligence with the means through that it shows itself, the first 24 posts of this thread explain why the "redefined" meaning of intelligence is preferable.
It is not redifined by the way, if anything it is the original meaning of it, you, I, society, the modern people, are the ones that redefined it in our image

This redefinition of words is such a problem that it was described in 1984 as a tool that was going ti be used to imbecilize the masses, you can see it with words like "homophobia", the ancients were much more intelligent than our contemporaries in many matters, we should go back and listen to them.

I really advise you to read the entire sequence of posts an meditate on it, I can try making a pdf of it for you guys

>> No.16641555

>Dumb faggot redefines intelligence in the first few sentences
Also, you may suffer from functional illiteracy

>Intelligence, in the sense that I use the word here, in the sense that it has etymologically and in the sense that it was used at the time that the words made sense
Notice the word etymologically and the part it says "the words made sense" (do they make sense to you today)?
If you want to cure this problem of yours you coild start with the phonetic approach (it is a method of teaching and learning reading)

>> No.16641648

I'm going to rip your penis and your posts apart after I finish taking this shit and reading the rest of the thread. Prepare yourself!

>> No.16641718

>I'm going to rip your posts apart

Please do, but think about what you're going to post throughly before posting

Don't use something like machine learning to disprove some of the points made while the text already adresses this objection

Moreover, I think you would gain more out of this whole ordeal if you read the entire text and effectively tried its suggestions, tested it, to see if it works in practice

I'll go read then sleep, maybe i will answer your post tomorrow if I think it doesn't get answered by the first 24 posts

>> No.16641731

Will reading 14 pages of a translation make me smarter or will it just coddle me into thinking it's okay to not be smarter? I don't want definitions. I want results.

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