Talk:Intellect

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untitled[edit]

Is there really no substantial difference between Intellect and Intelligence? teadrinker 01:39, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

disambiguation and redirects[edit]

At the suggestion of of User:DreamGuy (See here. Also see discussion with User:BD2412 here). I am centralizing discussion here concerning how to "correctly" or at least practically, disambiguate and redirect for the term "intellect" and related terms, given the nature of the articles we currently have. Discussion started after reverts to Intelligence and intellect by DreamGuy, where he objected to the changes I had made, under the advice of BD2412, who felt that Wikipedia policy demands that we pick one primary meaning for "intellect" which then presumably has to go to either intelligence or nous, and can not go to a redirect, which had been my initial suggestion. I'll post messages at the talk pages of related terms.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Starting discussion. Here are my thoughts in a nutshell:

  • I do wonder if we really need to pick one primary term and can not be allowed to sometimes have a search term go to a dab page.
  • If we have to pick one primary term then I doubt that intellect is really a search that normally should end up at intelligence. I think intellect is a more technical term often found in older books, generally with a philosophical bent and written by authors who still knew their Aristotle. Early modern philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, questioned the way intellect had been defined by Aristotelians, but still knew how to use the term the old way. People still read the books of these three modern authors, and they also still read Aristotle.
  • In any case I think it really can not be accepted if the search term intellect does not give readers an easy way of discovering the nous article, which as far as I can see, could easily be re-named intellect without much controversy, because that is what it is about. (Nous being the more rare term in English books, than intellect, for exactly the same concept.)
  • There is a bigger can of worms in the background. Nous and intellectus are frequently translated as "mind" and "understanding".
  • On the other hand I personally see no reason to merge, delete or make any major changes to articles just to be fully correct concerning dab policy. Most of the articles under discussion here can certainly do with more work based on their directions of meaning they already have. Trying to merge them would be a major waste of time and energy and would probably lead to an incoherent article that just needs to be split again anyway.
  • So I think it is better that the articles refer to each other and distinguish themselves from each other clearly, and that editors working on these articles keep the others also in mind.

Comments requested.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:55, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

  • As a matter of policy, a term with a primary meaning should redirect to that primary meaning, and a term split between two meanings (extremely minor meanings aside) should redirect to the better one with a hatnote pointing to the other. If "Intellect" is a concept of its own, then we should have an article on Intellect. If it is synonymous with Nous, the article should be at Intellect as the better known term. If it is not, then it should redirect to Intelligence, for which I don't think it is too controversial a statement to say that it is popularly conflated with "Intellect". Cheers! bd2412 T 14:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:41, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I think the following comment from DreamGuy's talkpage is the key point which can help us decide how the articles should inter-connect and be distinguished (or merged?):

"Intellect is primarily a synonym for intelligence, and while the concept of intellect as having/coming to a conclusion without using reason is new to me (and foreign - "common sense" also uses a form of reasoning, even if it is quicker than some)".
  • This is pointing to the way the nous article currently opens, but it should be noted that this was recently changed and is in the process of being improved, so it will probably be changed further.
  • The sentence encapsulates the fact that different authors on this subject see reason as either a clearly distinct way of coming to conclusions, or not. The reason article might be helpful here.
  • Currently I think the nous article is insisting on the distinction and the intelligence article is ignoring it. This is why it would be hard to merge them. But it is also maybe a reason merging should be considered. Maybe both are taking a non neutral position.
  • I think DreamGuy is right to point to conclusions arrived at "by common sense" as a case of using intellect/intelligence/nous by all definitions (at least if I understand what he means by this as a case of coming to a conclusion quickly, just by knowing that if you for example see smoke, fire might be near.
  • However, not all authors, even today, would agree that coming to conclusions "by common sense" is an example of reasoning. Probably the archetype of those who argued that the distinction was not as clear as everyone thinks was David Hume, who argued as a result that animals and infants have reason, but just less of it, and that reason is just a more complex type of habitual thinking than all the other types, not qualitatively different. Links to texts are in our reason article.
  • Hume's skepticism on this matter is not considered to be one of his strongest points, and I do not believe this position is a clear majority position even today. In other words the idea that human reason is a distinct type of thinking, and that not all ways of coming to a conclusion are as a result of reason, remains a majority position. (Links to modern scientific discussions of this are in our reason article also. See for example Terrence Deacon. In philosophy also, even rather Humean philosophers such as the American pragmatists such as C.S. Peirce, do see a qualitative difference between reasoning and other types of thinking.)
  • All reasoning does however rely on intellect/nous/intelligence, because of course reasoning can only get to work when there are assumptions which have already been made (or in the Neo-Platonist description which is the current focus of the nous article, some of these first principles of reasoning maybe come not from experience but from some more metaphysical cause).--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:41, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

the simple approach[edit]

Maybe the above gives too much to discuss and is looking at too many long term options. I think I need to mention that the simplistic question which needs answering for now is as follows.

Should the primary redirect for the search term "intellect" be:

Comments please.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:24, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I've requested the opinions of WikiProject Disambiguation. They're usually pretty good at telling what should be a dab and what should have a primary article. CRGreathouse (t | c) 16:25, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • In the "none of the above" scenario above, ie there is no "primary usage" of the word "Intellect", I think that the disambiguation page should be at Intellect, with a redirect to that from Intellect (disambiguation). PamD (talk) 16:49, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh I did not think of that. I guess my brain did not go that way because there is already such a closely related dab, but I guess this is also a possibility. Actually I notice that Intellect (disambiguation) still exists, but the search term intellect will not go there at the moment.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:10, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the hatnote at Intelligent was a bit of a mess; I've replaced it with two distinct hatnotes, to point to the two different dab pages. The existing dab page should be moved to Intellect if it is agreed that there is no primary usage for "Intellect". I've tidied it a bit, and also expanded the Intelligence (disambiguation) page - there were things missing. PamD (talk) 23:54, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
To expand: there are, and need to be, two separate disambiguation pages, one for "Intelligence", one for "Intellect" - to include all the various films, magazines, trade associations, etc which share these names. In the case of "Intelligence", there is an article at Intelligence, and this certainly seems the indisputable Primary Usage, so the dab page is at Intelligence (disambiguation), and must be linked by a hatnote from Intelligence. In the case of "Intellect", either (a) it is agreed that there is no one Primary Usage of the word, and the disambiguation page currently at Intellect (disambiguation) needs to be moved to Intellect, or (b) it is agreed that there is an article which is the Primary Usage of "Intellect", and it redirects there, with a hatnote pointing to the dab page which remains at its present title. (Until I fixed it just now, there was no link from Intellect to Intellect (disambiguation), as the redirect led to Intelligence which had no link to the dab page: that was incorrect.) At present, "Intelligence" is being treated as the Primary Usage of "Intellect". I leave it to philosophers and psychologists to decide where to go from here, but as a disambiguation enthusiast I hope I have shed some light on your options! PamD (talk) 00:09, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd say that turning Intellect into a disambiguation page is the best compromise. It seems to me that we don't speak of intellect in other animals, only of intelligence in other animals, i.e., learning power, not power of abstract conception. Still, not a few people think that intellectuals are simply very intelligent, so intelligence and intellect get conflated into a single idea in some contexts; and that's a legitimate argument for making Intellect a disambiguation page. Intellect is typically associated with the power to grasp abstractions, especially structures of alternatives and implications - logically complex things - but usually eliminating concrete details and uncertainties and working with idealized skeletal wire models of situations - hence intellect does not seem intelligence or cognitive strength in every sense, for example commonsense perception, sensory and 'intuitive' faculties, and imagination. The one option that I'd really oppose would be to make Intellect a redirect to Intelligence. Personally I'd prefer to have Intellect redirect to Nous, but one can't have everything. The Tetrast (talk) 00:29, 9 March 2011 (UTC).
This solution also sees fine to me, but maybe still in disagreement with the principle User:BD2412 was expressing which started this discussion, which was that a term should not go to a dab if there are articles about it. In other words his reading of policy is that we MUST pick a "winner"?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 05:49, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
The question turns entirely on whether "Intellect" is a separate concept from "Intelligence". Either intellect is the same as intelligence and should redirect there, or it is a different concept that stands on its own, and should have an article. bd2412 T 17:52, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
  • There are 3 options, from the disambiguation angle:
At present there is no article of this title - you might want to rename/move Nous to that title?
  • A decision that something else (perhaps Nous, currently Intelligence) is the Primary Usage of the word "Intellect" even though that article has a different name. (ie the article is the Primary Usage for more than one term - it happens, look at HP).
In that case you need a redirect from "Intellect" to that article, and a hatnote there offering a link to Intellect (disambiguation)
  • A decision that there is no "Primary usage" for the word "Intellect", so the disambiguation page is renamed Intellect.

PamD (talk) 07:55, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

    • If "Intellect" is a concept distinct from "Intelligence" then we should have an article on "Intellect", since the other meanings given are comparatively insignificant, and not likely to be understood as the intended meaning of a reference to "Intellect" in isolation. If this concept is synonymous with Nous, then we should move Nous to Intellect, the latter clearly being the more popular term. If "Intellect" is not a concept distinct from "Intelligence", then it should obviously redirect to "Intelligence". We can avoid hatnote messiness by including the small number of other meanings of "Intellect" on the Intelligence (disambiguation) page (I have seen some precedents for this). My preference at this time would be for having an article on the concept, created by moving the rarified synonym "Nous" to "Intellect". bd2412 T 17:51, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
The problems seem to come in when we recognize that it is not so easy to unify "a distinct concept" under the word, which naturally belongs in a given article. The reason we have disambiguation pages is because the world is not as simple as, "Either you're talking about intelligence or you're talking about intellect," as if each of those is a simple and unified thing. One reason for keeping an article at nous is that, for example, in Terrence Irwin's translations of Aristotle, "intellect" or "intelligence" will refer instead fo phronesis. Note I say intellect or intelligence--I would put the bind this way--it's not that intellect and intelligence are different as much as that they are synonymous but that someone searching "intellect" as a term is more likely to have the technical philosophical term(s) in mind, which justifies disambiguation. Under WP:PRIMARYTOPIC I think it boils down to whether we think people typing "intellect" in the search box are overwhelmingly likely to be satisfied with the article intelligence. I don't think so; I think in large numbers they want and need the menu at intellect (disambiguation). Wareh (talk) 18:12, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I should be blunter on one point: it would be flat-out wrong to relabel nous, as the underlying Greek term is the only thing that unifies the subjects treated there. You'd have to break off Anaxagoras' cosmic "mind" from such Aristotelian usages as passive intellect, etc. Wareh (talk) 18:17, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
We are left, then, with a glorified WP:TWODABS problem, because there are only two terms on the disambig page for which we can reasonably imagine a user is likely to be searching, the trade association, board game manufacturing company, and album B-side being vanishingly minor. If this were a genuine TWODABS situation, which one would be the redirect target and which one would be the hatnote? bd2412 T 18:23, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you may be misreading WP:TWODABS. This applies when there are only two referents. I agree about "vanishingly minor," but TWODABS has to do when no disambiguation page whatsoever is needed because of the absence of even vanishingly minor alternatives beyond two. Wareh (talk) 18:32, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion this is, indeed, simpler than it may appear from the above. Yes, in speech, books, and other writing "intellect" usually means "intelligence." But someone searching for an encyclopedia article on this term is very likely to have a more technical (i.e. philosophical) usage in mind. WP:PRIMARYTOPIC recognizes that this is an essential part of a decision, using such language as "how likely a given topic is to be sought by readers entering a given term."

Therefore, intellect should provide, not a redirect, but disambiguation. Intellect (disambiguation) should be moved to the title intellect & hatnotes adjusted accordingly. (If someone really needs to write an article called intellect, either it will be a narrow article that requires title-disambiguation, or else this move can be reversed. But until an article needs to exist at intellect, there's no reason to concern ourselves with future hypotheticals.)

Basically, the mere fact that there can be credible, good-faith controversy over what article to direct to makes this (in my view) the only and obvious solution. Wareh (talk) 15:05, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I does not appear to me that intellect, as a non-technical term, is significantly different from intelligence. As such, I would keep the existing redirect to the Intelligence article, with the hatnote to Nous, for the specialist. As to merging the two articles, I agree that that would be difficult, and might not be as useful as the existing separation. --Bejnar (talk) 17:32, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I believe Wareh's explanations match my own thoughts on this matter.
  • BD2412, I think the problem with your reasoning is that you assume words have one to one correspondences, whereas in fact many words have several meanings at once, meaning that they can overlap. Nous and intellect and intelligence overlap a lot, but the two articles show that it is possible to split discussion up logically.
  • Bejnar, I do not think intellect is used as a non technical word normally, unless it is slightly sarcastically or for dramatic effect.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:20, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I've been bold and made the implied tweaks which seem to me to be the correct ones coming from the above discussion. Obviously as always on Wikipedia, if I've made the wrong call, we can discuss further.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:18, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, both ways certainly seem to allow further editing, and not to hold up any particular path to improvements.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:37, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Incoming links[edit]

There are about 150 incoming links to Intellect (see Special:WhatLinksHere/Intellect).

That suggests that a lot of editors out there expect, or have expected, to link to an article on that topic. (It also suggests that a lot of people don't check links they add to articles, but that's another matter!) Today they land on the article Intelligence. In future they might land on a disambiguation page. It looks to me (neither a philosopher nor a psychologist) as if perhaps there ought to be an article at Intellect. If the dab page is moved to Intellect, it will then show up in reports of "Dab pages with incoming links", and someone will struggle to change all those links so that they each point to an article, not a dab page.

Perhaps some of you experts should look at those links now, and change them to point to whatever article seems appropriate, in the absence of any article on "Intellect". PamD (talk) 19:41, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

That will not resolve the problem. The 150 links is todays count because disambiguators work without rest to keep ambiguous links to a minimum. If an article (or a redirect to an article) does not occupy this title, then we will have yet another frequently linked page to drag us further away from the goal of ever having an encyclopedia where links point where they should. bd2412 T 21:40, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I think PamD's point is that you can look at redirects and sometimes make educated guesses about where they are intended to go, or in other words whether the present intelligence or nous article would be better? I think your response raises quite a big question of how it is that disambiguators, presumably editors who are not closely following the articles themselves, know that people searching "intellect" really want to go to intelligence?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:24, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
For disambiguators, our evidence is not in looking at which option people click through to upon reaching the disambig page (although I believe that data is available somewhere), but in fixing links errantly made to the disambig page based on the context in whcih those links are found. bd2412 T 22:20, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I think my second point, the part you are responding to, was not clearly made. I'll try again. I understand your position as follows:-
  • Disambiguators follow a code where they must insist that intellect goes to either directly to nous or directly to intelligence.
  • The justification for this code is that they are avoiding searches going via a dab page "dragging" them far from their goal.
Therefore you must also think that these disambiugators must themselves be quite confident that people searching the term intellect will never be evenly divided between those searching for the information now in nous and the information now in intelligence? But how can you be confident of this?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:04, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
  • No, Disambiguators do not "insist that intellect goes to either directly to nous or directly to intelligence". But disambiguators believe that links in articles should go to articles and not to disambiguation pages. 150 editors have created links to "Intellect". Readers of those articles should land on a page which is not a disambiguation page. It may be that what is needed is a single-paragraph article "Intellect" which sums up the various interpretations and has links to nous and intelligence. That short article would be the primary usage of "Intellect", and would have a link to the disambiguation page. In fact, the more I think about it, the more appropriate that seems. I might even draft such an article myself. PamD (talk) 08:50, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
  • OK, calling on WP:IAR I have created a mini-article, not a disambiguation page, which describes the two core usages of the word (but only by lifting text from the existing dab page). Please improve on it, and leave it as a suitable target article for those 150 links which go to "Intellect". I think this is a possible way forward. PamD (talk) 09:01, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
  • OK, I'll try to tweak this into a better form, but I wonder if this solution will gain wider acceptance. From my point of view it seems to be a reasonable common sense solution, although in terms of the logic of IAR it is one step away from avoiding rules, because this article would only exist to satisfy a rule, not to make sure searchers get to their proper target any faster than with the other solution of having intellect got to a dab.
  • To me it seems that the normal solution to making sure links in articles do not go to dabs is to make sure they are tweaked to fit whatever term has been used to make a Wikipedia article, which in this case would be nous or intelligence in nearly all cases.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:36, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Have done that, so now there is this mini article. OTOH, in case this is not the long term solution, I also looked at the 126 articles (not counting User, Talk and Wikipedia pages) that link to "Intellect". See here. I was planning to go through them all slowly, and perhaps I still should, but actually just a quick look already makes it clear that maybe 80 or 90% of these would be best covered by nous. (Interesting to see that the normal Arabic translation also has its own article 'Aql. But note that this also has a strong connection to Islamic jurisprudence.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:34, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with this solution. Cheers! bd2412 T 15:32, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Which one? :) The mini article is the current solution. My idea for the future was MAYBE to eventually try to split all dabs to intelligence of intellect. Which is better?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 17:28, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with having an article here, if even a short one. bd2412 T 18:15, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

removal of refimprove tag[edit]

As it is now is just a nice stub for the wikt entry and doesn't need further references, should any of the ideas above congeal into a plan of action for the formation of a non-stub then that of course would be different. "Intellect" is just another word for the rational mind and its creations. 72.228.177.92 (talk) 21:19, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Read the rest of the talk-page. The article is created because of redirect norms. There are two articles covering two sides to this subject.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:37, 15 January 2012 (UTC)