American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding.
- n. The ability to think abstractly or profoundly. See Synonyms at mind.
- n. A person of great intellectual ability.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The understanding; the sum of all the cognitive faculties except sense, or except sense and imagination. The Latin word intellectus was used to translate the Greek
νου%21ςwhich in the theory of Aristotle is the faculty of the cognition of principles, and that which mainly distinguishes man from the beasts. Hence, the psychologists of the Scotch school use intellect as the synonym of common sense, or the faculty of apprehending a priori principles. The agent or active intellect, according to Aristotle, is the impersonal intellect that has created the world (see phrase below); the passive, patient, or possible intellect is that which belongs to the individual and perishes with him. But with St. Thomas Aquinas the distinction is quite different, the possible intellect being the faculty receptive of the intelligible species emitted by things, while the agent intellect is the power of operative thought. The term pure intellect, said to be used by St. Augustine, and certainly as early as Scotus Erigena, had always denoted the divine intellect, unmixed with matter, until Kant (adopting, as was his frequent practice, the terminology of Löscher) applied it to intellect as separated, in its use or application, from sense. Practical intellect is distinguished from theoreticalor speculative, by Aristotle and all other psychologists, as having an end in view. The Platonists at all periods during the middle ages made intellect a special cognitive faculty, higher than reason and lower than intelligence—namely, the faculty of understanding and conceiving of things natural but invisible, as soul and its faculties and operations. (Intellectus more often means the cognitive act, product (concept), or habit than the faculty.) With Kant the intellect is, first, in a general sense, the nonsensuous, self-active faculty of cognition; the faculty of producing representations, of bringing unity into the matter given in sense, of conceiving objects, and of judging; the faculty of concepts, or rules, of discursive cognition; the faculty of a priori synthesis, of bringing the manifold of given representations under the unity of selfconsciousness; and secondly, in a narrower sense, the faculty of conceiving of intuited objects and of forming concepts and judgments concerning them, but excluding the pure use of the understanding, which in the Kantian system is reason.
- n. Mind collectively; current or collective intelligence: as, the intellect of the time.
- n. plural Wits; senses; mind: as, disordered in his intellects.
- n. the faculty of thinking, judging, abstract reasoning, and conceptual understanding (uncountable)
- n. the capacity of that faculty (in a particular person) (uncountable)
- n. a person who has that faculty to a great degree
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Metaph.) The part or faculty of the human mind by which it knows, as distinguished from the power to feel and to will; the power to judge and comprehend; the thinking faculty; the understanding.
- n. The capacity for higher forms of knowledge, as distinguished from the power to perceive objects in their relations; mental capacity.
- n. A particular mind, especially a person of high intelligence.
- n. knowledge and intellectual ability
- n. a person who uses the mind creatively
- n. the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
- From Latin intellēctus ("understanding, intellect"), perfect passive participle of intellegō ("understand; reason"), from inter ("between, among") + legō ("read"), with connotation of bind. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French intellecte, from Latin intellēctus, perception, from past participle of intellegere, to perceive; see intelligent. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The knowledge of first principles is attained by the _intuition of pure intellect_ (νοῦς) -- that is, "_intellect itself is the principle of science_" or, in other words, intellect is the _efficient, essential cause_ of the knowledge of first principles.”
“I'm very much the beneficiary of his deeply insightful, eloquently argued ideas; the privilege of sharpening my ideas on the whetstone of his intellect is a rare one, and I'm delighted to share that opportunity with Boing Boing's readers ...”
“But some times, in moments of inspiration, the pressure of one's will relents, and the intellect is able to consider the object as it is in itself, independently of one's goals, desires, and interests.”
“I agree that design can be inferred from adaptation and also agree with nullasalus that the intellect is a supreme adaptive tool.”
“Besides, my intellect is actually my main defense.”
“The premier science in the study of the history of art is, and always has been, the science of vision, because "the distinction between what we really see and what we infer through the intellect is as old as human thought on perception.”
“Each one can define it for himself; there it is, and I do not see why it is not as integral a part of the authors — an element in the estimate of their future position — as what we term their intellect, their knowledge, their skill, or their art.”
“That statement, "he announced," is a formal tribute paid by what I call my intellect to what the vulgar call the probabilities.”
“He too yields only to necessity, the attraction of pleasure, and the fear of suffering; and what we call our intellect has the same origin and mission as what in animals we choose to term instinct.”
“Each one can define it for himself; there it is, and I do not see why it is not as integral a part of the authors -- an element in the estimate of their future position -- as what we term their intellect, their knowledge, their skill, or their art.”
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