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Inventing Intelligence: A Social History of Smart

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1216-1
280 pages
January 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
Inventing Intelligence: A Social History of Smart (1405112166) cover image
What is intelligence? What makes humans Homo sapiens — the intelligent species?Inventing Intelligence is a bold deconstruction of the history of intelligence. Uncoupling our understanding of this most familiar concept from its traditional social science moorings, this book trains a cultural studies lens on intelligence to expose it as yet another form of representation.

Inventing Intelligence charts the history of intelligence from its earliest articulations through to postmodern AI. Individual chapters recount the loving spheres of divine intelligence imagined by Plato, the self-conscious stylings of the Renaissance Man, the politics of intelligence in the Enlightenment, as well as contemporary assessments of digital intelligence and the mysterious adventure of Einstein’s brain. Ambitious in its historical sweep, unflinching in its challenge to conventional wisdom, Inventing Intelligence is for everyone and anyone who used to think that the parameters and the stakes of intelligence—evident in the current controversy over “intelligent” design—had been negotiated and finalized.

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Acknowledgements.

Introduction: The World of Intelligence..

Part I: The Renaissance Economy of Intelligence.

1. The Pre-Renaissance Tradition of Intelligence.

2. The New Landscape of Smart.

3. The First Smart Economy.

4. Renaissance Intellectual Trends.

5. Renaissance Philosophy and Fabrications of Intelligence.

6. Smart Renaissance Science.

7. Profitable Knowledge and Intelligence Becomes a Career.

8. Intelligence and Dominant Renaissance Scientists..

Part II: Bright Lights, Fallen Apples, and Clinical Gazes: Intelligence and the Enlightenment.

9. Intelligence and the Enlightenment.

10. Illuminating Enlightenment Intelligence.

11. Enlightenment Insight: Fallen Apples, Social Mathematics and A New Intelligence.

12. The Clinical Gaze and Human Normalization..

Part III: Modern and Postmodern Intelligence: Smart Architects, Smart Tools, and Smart Critiques.

13. Smart Architects and Contemporary Intelligence.

14. Smart Tools and Modern Intelligence.

15. Smart Critiques: New Sciences and New Mathematics.

Conclusion.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Paul Michael Privateer is Associate Professor of Humanities at Arizona State University. He is the author of Romantic Voices: Identity and Ideology in British Literature, 1789-1850 (1991).
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  • Charts the history of “intelligence” in a bold and provocative way.
  • Exposes the idea of intelligence as a form of representation, through a masterful cultural study of the concept.
  • Recounts in modern terms the development of intelligence from Plato through the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and contemporary views about digital intelligence and Einstein.
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"[A] very interesting study." Guardian

“This is an outstanding and welcome addition to the literature on the social and cultural significance of intelligence. The argument unfolds nicely and with excellent coverage of the relevant literature, issues, and problems.” Sal Restivo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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