The words “intelligent” and “intelligence” are widely used in everyday language and in different scientific disciplines. This use is polymorphous, i. e. , the words are applied to different kinds of items in virtue of different sorts of considerations. One finds the words applied to persons, animals, machines and by analogical extension to all things which can, in some respect, be viewed as agents or systems (cells, bacteria, viruses, groups or societies of insects, etc. ); to actions and behaviors, and by analogical extension to all sorts of processes which can be described as having salient results (evolution, natural selection, optimization, control processes, etc. ); and to the results of actions, behaviors and processes (species or phyla, Schull 1990, pp. 63–108), artifacts, their designs, solutions, decisions, plans, projects, etc. ). There is a corresponding variety of considerations and observations which back up ascriptions of “intelligent” and “intelligence” to the above-mentioned items: being well adapted; being adaptive, being flexible, versatile, quick, efficient; being able to make detours to reach a certain goal; coping successfully with an environment and with changes in an environment; maximizing survival chances, being able to deal with new situations; being able to look ahead (anticipation); making economic use of available resources; being able to learn, etc.


Cognitive Science Truth Table General Intelligence Intelligent Behavior Intentional Stance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Lanz
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität BielefeldGermany

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