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the capacity for understanding, thinking, and reasoning, as distinct from feeling or wishing



the capacity for thought and rational cognition, in contrast to, for example, such mental capabilities as feelings, will, intuition, and imagination.

The term “intellect” is derived from the Latin translation of the ancient Greek concept nous (mind), and its meaning is identical. In their theories Plato and Aristotle treated nous as the higher, supraindividual, rational part of the human soul; the “mind” as the first stage in emanation of the world, its flow from the single prime source, is a development of Neoplatonism. This meaning of the term was also adopted by medieval Scholasticism (intellect as divine intellect). In contrast to “reason” as the lower cognitive capacity (for elementary abstraction), the term “intellect” was used in Scholasticism to signify a higher cognitive capacity (suprasensory grasping of spiritual essences). These concepts were employed by Kant in an opposite sense: understanding, or intellect (in German, Verstand), as the ability to form concepts, and reason (in German, Vernunft) as the ability to form metaphysical ideas. This word usage became widespread in subsequent German philosophy and was definitively established by Hegel with his concepts of understanding (intellect) and reason. The former as a capacity for abstract-analytical differentiation is a preliminary condition for higher, rational, concrete-dialectical comprehension.

Since the end of the 19th century diverse quantitative methods for evaluating intellect, the level of mental development, by means of special tests and specific systems for statistical processing of these tests in factor analysis have become widespread in experimental psychology.

In animal psychology certain reactions of which higher animals, for the most part monkeys, are capable are regarded as intellect (or “manual thought”). Such reactions are characterized by sudden solutions of problems, easy reproduction of solutions once they have been discovered, their transfer to situations somewhat different from original ones, and, finally, a capacity to solve “two-phase” tasks.

In Soviet psychology the concept of intellect is used mainly in theory of individual-typological features of personality development (see B. M. Teplov, Problemy individual’nykh razlichii, Moscow, 1961, pp. 252–344). On a more general level intellect is a synonym for thought, the mental development of the individual.



A query language written by Larry Harris in 1977, close to natural English.


A natural language query program for IBM mainframes developed by Artificial Intelligence Corporation. The company was later acquired by Trinzic Corporation, which was acquired by Platinum, which was acquired by Computer Associates.
References in classic literature ?
Butler, Hermann von Schmidt cheek by jowl with Charley Hapgood, and one by one and in pairs he judged them and dismissed them - judged them by the standards of intellect and morality he had learned from the books.
The orator yields to the inspiration of a transient occasion, and speaks to the mob before him, to those who can hear him; but the writer, whose more equable life is his occasion, and who would be distracted by the event and the crowd which inspire the orator, speaks to the intellect and health of mankind, to all in any age who can understand him.
The whole body of travellers seemed to be a collection of voluntary human sacrifices, bound hand and foot, and delivered over to Mr Eustace and his attendants, to have the entrails of their intellects arranged according to the taste of that sacred priesthood.
At last, out comes the new bill with your own lawful name, Lawyer Lightwood, printed to it, and then I asks the question of my own intellects, Am I to have this trouble on my mind for ever?
Winkle, whose intellects were hopelessly confused by this extraordinary conversation.
Another and a better gift than intellect was shown her in a most unexpected manner.
A peasant's cap was no safe disguise for it; you could know it for a king's under a diving-bell, if you could hear it work its intellect.
Such a birth requires, as its antecedents, not only a series of carefully arranged intermarriages, but also a long, continued exercise of frugality and self-control on the part of the would-be ancestors of the coming Equilateral, and a patient, systematic, and continuous development of the Isosceles intellect through many generations.
I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been.
But to exercise the intellect the prince should read histories, and study there the actions of illustrious men, to see how they have borne themselves in war, to examine the causes of their victories and defeat, so as to avoid the latter and imitate the former; and above all do as an illustrious man did, who took as an exemplar one who had been praised and famous before him, and whose achievements and deeds he always kept in his mind, as it is said Alexander the Great imitated Achilles, Caesar Alexander, Scipio Cyrus.
But Laurence thought it strange that a man with such a face, indicating hardly a common share of intellect, should have had influence enough on human affairs to convulse the world with war.
The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been.