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When did humanity recognize intelligence


Othmane Dahi
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To answer the question in the title ["when was the word intelligence first used"]: late 14th century 

https://www.etymonline.com/word/intelligence#etymonline_v_9381

1 hour ago, Othmane Dahi said:

when did humanity recognize intelligence ?

That is a very different question. And probably impossible to answer. As long as intelligence has existed, I would guess. 

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1 hour ago, Othmane Dahi said:

I mean when they knew that some people are smarter than other people 

Wouldn't that be when we were still hunter gatherers. It's usually the more intelligent ones that become the main hunters.

Maybe it was females that first started talking about it. Must've been a huge attraction back then, as it is now.

Try this,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence

Edited by Curious layman
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I think the key words (e.g., for a Google search) here are "theory of mind" and "anthropology." IOW: Humans at some point started to realise other humas also thought and try to guess what the other human was thinking, in order to extend prediction to the context of the human mind itself.

Some scholarly sources:

https://evolutionaryanthropology.duke.edu/research/3chimps/research/theory-of-mind#:~:text=Theory of Mind,that differ from our own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-bUEgalv-8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFTe3z5ISGo

 

Edited by joigus
Added some sources
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18 minutes ago, joigus said:

I think the key words (e.g., for a Google search) here are "theory of mind" and "anthropology." IOW: Humans at some point started to realise other humas also thought and try to guess what the other human was thinking, in order to extend prediction to the context of the human mind itself.

I suspect it is the sort of thing that is close to find evidence for the origin of (I haven't looked to see if their research does show any theory of mind in (other) apes.

But if it arose in humans (and is related to our human understanding of intelligence) then perhaps the prehistoric art (whether abstract or realistic) is the earliest hint we can get.

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20 minutes ago, Strange said:

But if it arose in humans (and is related to our human understanding of intelligence) then perhaps the prehistoric art (whether abstract or realistic) is the earliest hint we can get.

That's what I think. Art and/or symbolism certainly imply intelligence. But I would make the further qualification that first hints only too reasonably come later than the real thing. The excavations of Homo naledi (335,000–236,000 years ago) at the Rising Star cave in South Africa have shown that, very likely, a stray cousin of ours that looked very much like an upright ape and didn't use tools or made any kind of art, seemed to go to the trouble of carefully placing their dead in an almost inaccessible dead end of a cave where no other fossils of animals have been found. My suspicion is that some "human" attributes go farther back than we dare to postulate. Cautiousness is mandatory, of course.

Edited by joigus
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  • 2 months later...

I can't defend the idea "intelligence" exists  on earth but the word appears (per Mercer) in the oldest writing known to man;

1701a. To say: Nun has begotten N. on his left hand

1701b. a child; the intelligence of N. is not.

1701c. N. is freed from the evil gods;

1701d. N. is not given to the evil gods.
 

https://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/pyt/pyt47.htm

It appears twice in fact;

 

411a. N. is disgusted when he licks the emetics which are in the red crown,

411b. (but) he is delighted when their magic is in his belly.

411'c. The dignities of N. shall not be taken from him,

411d. (for) he has swallowed the intelligence of every god.

412a. The lifetime of N. is eternity, its limit is everlastingness

While the text dates only to ~2400 BC it is believed by Egyptologists to have been composed many centuries earlier and might even pre-date writing.  "Intelligence" may have meant something just a little different to the writers of this work and they certainly used the word "heart" in many instances we'd use the word "head".  

Some individuals simply think a great deal faster than others and some are more adept at coming up with useful ideas.   

I should think even animals display and note differences in the speed and importance (accuracy) of "thought".  

Edited by cladking
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