What is Intelligence?

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsIntelligence is an extremely subtle concept. It’s a kind of understanding that flourishes if it’s combined with a good memory, but exists anyway even in the absence of good memory. It’s the ability to draw consequences from causes, to make correct inferences, to foresee what might be the result, to work out logical problems, to be reasonable, rational, to have the ability to understand the solution from perhaps insufficient information. You know when a person is intelligent, but you can be easily fooled if you are not yourself intelligent.

Excerpt from an interview with scientist and author Isaac Asimov (1919-1992) in Conversations with Isaac Asimov edited by Carl Freedman, University Press of Mississippi (2005). Asimov was amazingly prolific during his career, having written and edited more than 500 books in the diverse fields of popular science, mathematics, astronomy, science fiction, and literary criticism. Asimov published popular authoritative guides to the works of Shakespeare and the Bible.

Advertisements

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: