Considerations on the Intellect

Sebastian Ortiz

I think the intellect is a kind of verbal, abstract way of thinking.

This means I don’t regard mathematics as anything but drawings whose truth all relies on two abstractions, constancy of cause and effect patterns and quantifiability of physical bodies.

These drawings are good for precision but they’re just meaningless doodles if you take away those two intellectual concepts away from the logical derivations they contain.

So I wouldn’t call visual analysis an intellectual ability although it may contain the pattern recognition of cause and effect.

This is why I am not impressed with IQ measurements, these things usually measure processing speed rather than intellect, that is the ability to recognize necessary patterns of cause and effect.

I am also sceptical of the term “genius”, to my view the only geniuses are those who discover a fundamental law of the universe like Newton.

I do think however all conceptions of goodness, from peace to virtue to love to kindness to the degree that they are sustainable are definite intellectual productions. They can be defined as particular forms of intentional behavior.  I think “good” developed from the intellect of the most intelligent.

I think with criteria one can tell which intelligent person is lying for the profit (Marx for example) of some and who is describing things as a sequence of necessary implications.

But every age that is bad like the current one we’re living in, from 1900 to date I think comes from people following things which are not demonstrable through some strictly necessary criteria either because they’ve been lied to or because they heed emotions rather than the intellect.

By emotions I mean some kind of chemical or brain hormone that produces an internal sensation, like sadness, etc. Sure emotions and intuitions may aid discovery but not more than contemplation of previous discoveries.

Having said that, I think this is the best year in the history of the world, I hope the next one will be even better.  All data seems to show fewer persons per capita are dying from war, starvation or disease everywhere.  This article I think describes that well:


  1. I assume this article was originally written in Spanish. I confess that I made a pejorative comment (possibly unjustified) about a Sebastian Ortiz article on this site a year or so ago; perhaps because it had not been well translated.

    Now this site supports auto-translation, let me suggest to Sean and David that where an article submitted to the LA is written in a non English language, the original and English versions should be published together. Then the philologists among us can have fun comparing them.

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