Re: Intelligence and wisdom

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 10:59:06 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> First of all, let's be clear: this is an argument about the relationship
> between two human-language concepts, "intelligence" and "wisdom", neither of
> which may be of any fundamental significance in the cosmos.

Um... this an argument about the real relationship of the *referents* of
two human-language concepts, "intelligence" and "wisdom", which may be
possibly be constructed in such a way as to have no solid referent.
Obviously there is not a surface identity between the definitions. What
I am interested in is how the thing we call "intelligence" interacts
with the thing we call "wisdom", a real issue well worth debating.

I think that literally the first meta-rational skill I ever learned was
that arguing over definitions is absolutely sterile and that all such
issues must be transformed into questions of external fact before you
can get anywhere. Of course, the exact mental image that exists in a
given person's mind on hearing a certain word is also a fact - the
question is whether it's the relevant fact, which it usually isn't.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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