RE: Intelligence and wisdom

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 17:01:46 MDT

> On Tuesday, July 16, 2002, at 12:07 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:
> > Gordon, when you say
> >
> >> for all you know greater intelligence *does* equal
> >> greater wisdom
> >
> > I have to ask you how you are defining "intelligence" and "wisdom". And
> > please clarify how your definitions relate to the standard English
> > definitions of these terms as found in the dictionary.
> Same as you. I say this because we do not know, for sure, that being
> more intelligent does not force you to be wiser. That is, I don't think
> we have enough data to conclude that being intelligent allows you to get
> away with not being wise. I agree that it is most likely not the case
> that intelligence can be correlated with wisdom, but I don't know for
> sure.

Well... I think we could formalize all this if we really wanted to, and we
could show that in the space of all possible computational systems,
intelligence (defined as the ability to achieve complex goals in complex
environments) is only very weakly correlated with risk-aversion (one of the
components of wisdom) and is only moderately strongly correlated with
intelligence in practical contexts (another component of wisdom).

I have neither time nor inclination to spend a year figuring out the right
way to formalize all this stuff [I've learned my lesson about trying to
hastily slap together formalizations to make points in conversation: that
sort of work just takes a lot of time to do properly], but I'm intuitively
fairly sure it's possible.

-- Ben G

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