DOI link for Describing Intelligence
Describing Intelligence book
With becoming modesty, our species has named itself "Homo sapiens sapiens." What quality do we have that justifies this claim? Is the quality of intelligence also possessed by other species ... or by machines? These questions cannot be answered until the tenns in them are defined. The importance of definition is illustrated by the history of debates over human intelligence. Discussions of racial, cultural, and sexual differences in intelligence have often degenerated into emotional, poorly focused conflicts. The issues have not been settled in part because the questions have not been clearly stated. More recently we have seen the rise of a vocal "Animal Rights" movement. It is based on an interesting, albeit poorly articulated, set of concepts about the nature of the nonhuman mind and about the obligation of humans to other sentient beings. The debate between animal welfare advocates and biological scientists is difficult to carry forward because the two sides see the issues so differently. Failing a definition of what we are talking about, we are not likely to talk about it very sensibly.