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Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

How do we decide whether something (a person, a behavior, a field of study) is intelligent? Carlotta Pavese defines 'intelligence elitism' as the theory that "there is a big divide among skills when it comes to intelligence, and the divide tracks the distinction between theoretical or intellectual skills—such as math or chess—and practical and embodied skills—such as carpentry, tool use, or sport skills." On this account (56 page PDF), 'intelligence socialism' is the response that "there is no principled difference in intelligence that tracks the divide between theoretical or intellectual skills and practical and embodied skills." Here, as in all things I guess, I am a socialist. This paper considers a number of arguments for intelligence elitism - that theoretical skills are generative, for example, or that they demonstrate cognitive control, or that they are uniquely human - and offers responses to each.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 3:50 p.m.

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