What Constitutes Intelligence?

2023-11-13 | 2 minute read | 250 Words

Recently I’ve had some time to think on the idea of what “intelligence” is and what actually makes “intelligence” intelligence. Is intelligence something that is inherit to how much one knows? Is it one’s ability to apply knowledge in a meaningful way? Or is it a societal measure of how one thinks in relation to what society considers valuable to its development?

In recent years, I don’t see intelligence as a learned or developed trait, rather it is a concept fostered by societal needs and pressures for the pure benefit of society and not the individual. When you think of it this way, it makes more sense why the first world values a particular kind of intelligence from a particular “strain” of human. That is why we have education systems that favor a particular kind of thought process or person. Its why getting an A on a test is more valuable then actually doing it hands-on. Its why doing something in the way that your professor or boss wants is more valuable than doing something properly or correct. Its why growth from mistakes is deincentivized and instead punishment for those mistakes is the norm. Being “intelligent” is not being smart, wise, or knowledgeable, its being bent to think and do in the way that society deems important to itself.

Though again, this is just from the perspective of society, it might not be true if society values the correct and proper things. But really, when has society ever valued that?

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