about intelligence & information

Dr. Vesa A. Niskanen (vesa.a.niskanen@Helsinki.FI)
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 18:45:30 +0100 (MET)

Dear Biscers,
I wish that the following clarifies the exegesis of intelligence and

1. Brief etymology of intelligence:
Stage 1: Intelligence (Lat. intellegere=to understand) is based on Cicero's
translation which he used when he considered Plato's idea on certain
cognitive behaviour and Aristotle's assumption on certain abilities causing
person's actions.
Stage 2: Spencer adopted this term but in those days it often had the same
meaning as the terms information and knowledge. Galton initiated empirical
research of this matter.
Stage 3: Binet, Spearman and Burt established operational definitions on
I maintain Burt's and Spearman's standpoint: Intelligence is inborn, general
and cognitive ability of a being. Then, (i) a being can interpret and
transmit (semantic) information. (ii) A being can understand relations
between phenomena. (iii) A being can apply factors (i) and (ii) to new

2. As regards information, I assume that you mean semantic information. This
subject matter I have already considered in my e-mail to Lotfi.
With consructive regards,
Mr. Vesa A. Niskanen, Docent, Ph. D.
University of Helsinki
Dept. of Economics & Management
PO Box 27, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Tel: +358 9 708 5052, +358 9 753 3609
Mobile (GSM): +358 40 503 2031
Fax: +358 9 708 5096
E-mail: vesa.a.niskanen@helsinki.fi