Intelligence from Outside

I very much like Aristotle’s cryptic remark in De Anima about intellect coming to us “from outside”. Intellect is very far from purely belonging to the individual psyche. On other grounds, I think our very notions of self only emerge through social interaction, and not any sort of originary intuition.

In a certain sense, then, specifically human as distinct from animal intelligence is already artificial in the sense that its basis is not purely organic. It cannot be separated from our acquisition of language and culture.

Where there is still a difference between human intelligence and anything in a computational domain is in the normative, practical dimension of human reason, which does not seem to be susceptible to formalization. Phronesis cannot be programmed. (See also What Is “I”?)

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