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In the study of the human mind, intellect refers to, describes, and identifies the
ability
ability
of the human mind to reach correct conclusions about what is
true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to represent reality or otherw ...

true
and what is
false False or falsehood may refer to: *False (logic), the negation of truth in classical logic *Lie or falsehood, a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement *false (Unix), a Unix command *False (album), ''False'' (album), a 1992 album by ...
in
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
; and how to
solve problems
solve problems
. Derived from the
Ancient Greek philosophy Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, marking the end of the Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC to the beginning of Archa ...
term ''
nous ''Nous'' (, ), sometimes equated to intellect In the study of the human mind, intellect refers to, describes, and identifies the ability of the human mind to reach correct conclusions about what is true True most commonly refers to truth ...

nous
'', ''intellect'' derived from the Latin ''intelligere'' (“to understand”), from which derives the term ''intelligence'' in the French and English languages. The discussion of intellect is in two areas of
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
that concern the relation between intelligence and intellect. * In
classical philosophy This page lists some links to ancient philosophy, namely philosophical thought extending as far as early post-classical history Post-classical history, as used in world history, generally runs from about 500 AD to 1500 AD (roughly correspond ...
and in mediaeval philosophy the intellect (''
nous ''Nous'' (, ), sometimes equated to intellect In the study of the human mind, intellect refers to, describes, and identifies the ability of the human mind to reach correct conclusions about what is true True most commonly refers to truth ...

nous
'') is the subject of the question: How do people know things? In
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a used by historians to describe the time of transition from to the in and adjacent areas bordering the . The popularization of this periodization in English has generally been credited to historian , after the publication o ...
and in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, the intellect was the conceptual means of reconciling the religious faith of
monotheism Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciou ...
with the facts of philosophy and science about
Nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter an ...
, a reconciliation that would make the intellect the conduit between the human soul, and the divine intellect of the
cosmos The cosmos (, ) is another name for the Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prev ...

cosmos
. In the Late Middle Ages, philosophers developed the distinction that ''intelligence'' is in two modes
passive intellectThe passive intellect (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...
and
active intellectThe active intellect (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
. page 6. * In psychology and in
neuroscience Neuroscience is the of the . It is a science that combines , , , , , and to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of s, and s. The understanding of the biological basis of , , , , and has been described by as the "epic chal ...

neuroscience
, the
Theory of Multiple Intelligences The theory of multiple intelligences proposes the differentiation of human intelligence into specific “modalities of intelligence”, rather than defining intelligence as a single, general ability. The theory has been criticized by mainstream ...
applies the terms ''intelligence'' (emotion) and ''intellect'' (mind) to describe how people
understand Understanding is a psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic disc ...

understand
the world and
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
.


Intellect and intelligence

As a branch of
intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, ...
, ''intellect'' concerns the
logical Logic (from Greek: grc, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative, translit=logikḗ)Also related to (''logos''), "word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle." (Liddell an ...
and the
rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογι ...
functions of the human mind, and usually is limited to
fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things ...
s and
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
. Additional to the functions of linear logic and the patterns of
formal logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to re ...
the intellect also processes the non-linear functions of
fuzzy logic In fuzzy mathematics, fuzzy logic is a form of many-valued logic in which the truth value Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ...

fuzzy logic
and
dialectical logic Dialectical logic is the system of laws of thought, developed within the Hegelian and Marxist traditions, which seeks to supplement or replace the laws of formal logic Mathematical logic, also called formal logic, is a subfield of mathematics ...
. Intellect and intelligence are contrasted by etymology; derived from the Latin
present active participle In linguistics, a participle () is a nonfinite verb form that has some of the characteristics and functions of both verbs and adjectives. More narrowly, ''participle'' has been defined as "a word derived from a verb and used as an adjective, as in ...
''intelligere'', the term ''intelligence'' denotes “to gather in between”, whereas the term ''intellect'', derived from the
past participle In linguistics, a participle () (from Latin ' a "sharing, partaking") is a nonfinite verb, nonfinite verb form that has some of the characteristics and functions of both verbs and adjectives. More narrowly, ''participle'' has been defined as "a wo ...
of ''intelligere'', denotes “what has been gathered”. Therefore, intelligence relates to the creation of new categories of understanding, based upon similarities and differences, while intellect relates to understanding existing
categories Category, plural categories, may refer to: Philosophy and general uses *Categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such ...

categories
.


Development of intellect

A person's intellectual understanding of reality derives from a
conceptual model A conceptual model is a depiction, representation of a system. It consists of concepts used to help people knowledge, know, understanding, understand, or simulation, simulate a subject the model represents. It is also a set of concepts. In contras ...

conceptual model
of reality based upon the
perception Perception (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" o ...

perception
and the
cognition Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual function Intellectual functioning refers to the "general men ...
of the material world of reality. The conceptual model of ''mind'' is composed of the mental and emotional processes by which a person seeks, finds, and applies logical solutions to the problems of life. The full potential of the intellect is achieved when a person acquires a factually accurate understanding of the real world, which is mirrored in the
mind The mind is the set of faculties responsible for mental phenomena A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fun ...

mind
. The mature intellect is identified by the person's possessing the capability of emotional self-management, wherein he and she can encounter, face, and resolve problems of life without being overwhelmed by emotion. Real-world
experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracelsian Paracelsianism (also Paracelsism; German: ') was an early modern History of medicine, medical movement based on the theories and therapies of Paracelsus. It developed in the second half ...

experience
is necessary to and for the development of a person's intellect, because, in resolving the problems of life, a person can intellectually comprehend a social circumstance (a time and a place) and so adjust his and her social
behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...
in order to act appropriately in the society of other people. Intellect develops when a person seeks an emotionally satisfactory solution to a problem; mental development occurs from the person's search for satisfactory solutions to the problems of life. Only experience of the real world can provide
understanding Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical thing, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to use concepts to model that thing. Understanding is a relation between the knower and an object of u ...

understanding
of
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
, which contributes to the person's intellectual development.


Structure of intellect

In 1955, the psychologist
Joy Paul Guilford Joy Paul Guilford (March 7, 1897 – November 26, 1987) was an American psychologist best remembered for his psychometric study of human Intelligence (trait), intelligence, including the distinction between Convergent thinking, convergent and Diver ...
(1897–1987) proposed a Structural Intellect (SI) model in three dimensions: (i) Operations, (ii) Contents, and (iii) Products. Each parameter contains specific, discrete elements that are individually measured as autonomous units of the human mind. Intellectual operations are represented by
cognition Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual function Intellectual functioning refers to the "general men ...
and
memory Memory is the faculty of the brain A brain is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exis ...

memory
, production (by
divergent thinking Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. It typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing, "non-linear" manner, such that many ideas are generated in an emergent co ...
and
convergent thinkingConvergent thinking is a term coined by Joy Paul Guilford as the opposite of divergent thinking. It generally means the ability to give the "correct" answer to standard questions that do not require significant creativity, for instance in most tasks ...
), and
evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bound ...

evaluation
. Contents are figurative and
symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), m ...

symbol
ic,
semantic Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
and behavioral. Products are in units, classes, and
relations Relation or relations may refer to: General uses *International relations, the study of interconnection of politics, economics, and law on a global level *Interpersonal relationship, association or acquaintance between two or more people *Public ...
, systems, transformations, and implications.


Intellect in psychotherapy

Intellectualization In psychology, intellectualization is a Defence mechanism, defense mechanism by which reasoning is used to block confrontation with an Unconscious mind, unconscious conflict and its associated emotional stress – where thinking is used to avoid fee ...
is a psychotherapeutic method based of intense intellectual focus in order to avoid dealing with a problem that occupies the attention of a person. In psychological praxis, intellectualization is a
defense mechanism In psychoanalytic theory, a defence mechanism (American English: defense mechanism), is an Unconscious mind, unconscious psychological operation that functions to protect a person from anxiety-producing thoughts and feelings related to interna ...
that blocks
feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical sensation of touch through either experience or perception. The word is also used to describe other experiences, such as "Emotion, a feeling of warmth" and of sentience in general. In psychology ...

feeling
s in order to prevent
anxiety Anxiety is an emotion Emotions are mental state, psychological states brought on by neurophysiology, neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of pleasure or suffering, disp ...

anxiety
and stress from acting upon and interfering with the
psyche Psyche (''Psyché'' in French) is the Greek term for "soul" or "spirit" (ψυχή). It may also refer to: Psychology * Psyche (psychology), the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious * Psyche (book), ''Psyche'' (book), an 1846 boo ...
of the person, which otherwise would interfere with his or her normal functioning in real life. As psychotherapy, intellectualization is a rational, dispassionate, and scientific approach towards dealing with and resolving mental problems, which are psychologically disturbance the person. The functions of intellectualization involve the
Id, ego, and super-ego The id, ego, and super-ego are a set of three concepts in psychoanalytic theory Psychoanalytic theory is the theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The p ...
. The Ego is the conscious aspect of human personality; the Id is the unconscious, animal-instinct aspect; and the super-ego is the control mechanism that mediates and adjusts a person's thoughts and actions and behavior in accordance with the social norms of society. The purpose of intellectualization is to isolate the Id from the real world, and so make the conscious aspects of a person's life the only object of reflection and consideration. Therefore, intellectualization defends and protects the Ego from the Id, the unconscious aspect of human personality that usually is impossible to control. Socially, intellectualization uses technical
jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The conte ...
and complex
scientific terminology Scientific terminology is the part of the language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing sys ...
instead of plain language; e.g. a physician uses the word ''carcinoma'' instead of ''cancer'' to lessen the negative impact of a diagnosis of terminal disease — by directing the patient's attention away from the bad news. The different registers of language, scientific (''carcinoma'') and plain language (''cancer''), facilitate the patient's acceptance of medical fact and medical treatment, by avoiding an outburst of negative emotions that would interfere with the successful treatment of the disease. Moreover, the defense mechanism of intellectualization is criticized because it separates and isolates the person from the painful emotions caused by the psychological problem. As such, the defense mechanism subsequently leads to the denial of
intuition Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is ...

intuition
, which sometimes contributes to the processes of
decision-making In psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in ...
; a negative consequence of the absence of emotional stimuli can deprive the person of
motivation Motivation is what explains why people or animals initiate, continue or terminate a certain behavior at a particular time. Motivational states are commonly understood as forces acting within the agent that create a disposition to engage in goal-d ...

motivation
, and lead to a mood of dissatisfaction, such as melancholy; such “emotional constipation” threatens his or her
creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, suc ...

creativity
, by replacing such capabilities with factual solutions.


See also

*
Human intelligence Human intelligence is the intellectual capability of humans, which is marked by complex cognition, cognitive feats and high levels of motivation and self-awareness. High intelligence is associated with better outcomes in life. Through intelligenc ...
*
Intellectualism Intellectualism is the mental perspective that emphasizes the use, the development, and the exercise of the intellect In the study of the human mind, intellect refers to, describes, and identifies the ability of the human mind to reach correct ...


References


External links

{{Authority control Aesthetics Ancient Greek philosophy Cognitive psychology Consciousness Critical thinking Empiricism Concepts in epistemology Epistemology of science Intellectualism Intelligence Mental content Mental processes Concepts in metaphilosophy Concepts in metaphysics Metaphysics of mind Observation Ontology Perception Philosophical logic Philosophical problems Philosophy of life Philosophy of logic Philosophy of psychology Principles Qualia Rational choice theory Rationalism Reasoning Skepticism Sources of knowledge Subjective experience Theories of truth Theory of mind Thought Truth