What is the nature of genius?

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Philosophy Explorer
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What is the nature of genius?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

I'm restricting the discussion to humans (including our ancestors).

One way of looking at it is what % of humans are geniuses. One in a thousand or one in a million? How do we recognize genius? What is required beyond to merely think of something that no one else has thought of before? Is Einstein a genius or Plato or Mozart? How does one acquire genius status? Are we born with it or is it developed (or both)? If developed, what conditions lead to it?

What do you think?

PhilX
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Seremonia
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Seremonia »

Generally speaking, it's an expert intuitively. Practically, deep thinking, ability to force their efforts mostly to gain specific interest.

What is the nature of genius? It's an increasing of human ability (sensing, thinking, doing things) become wider and sharper, naturally and rapidly
Skip
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Skip »

Independent and original thinking, insight, a quick perception of pattern; outstanding talent and ability, usually in a specialized field of endeavour.

Whether someone is considered a genius depends largely on circumstance. Many very bright children never get a chance to grow up, become educated, or have their ideas heard. Many original thinkers are thinking about subject matter that is unfashionable or unuseful in their time, and their ideas are not recorded for a time that would appreciate or need them more. Some were slaves or women or low-caste persons with no voice. Maybe some just fairly-bright men, who are not all that original, are seen as geniuses because they are the first to publish an idea that others also had at the same time, or there were few scholars (Yes, I'm looking at you, Plato) in their period whose work survived.

Like a lot of human qualities, genius should be seen on a sliding scale.
Obvious Leo
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Obvious Leo »

Philosophy Explorer wrote:I'm restricting the discussion to humans (including our ancestors).

One way of looking at it is what % of humans are geniuses. One in a thousand or one in a million? How do we recognize genius? What is required beyond to merely think of something that no one else has thought of before? Is Einstein a genius or Plato or Mozart? How does one acquire genius status? Are we born with it or is it developed (or both)? If developed, what conditions lead to it?

What do you think?

PhilX
I don't buy into the genius myth, Phil. Some people are more naturally inclined towards some particular skills rather than others but to elevate oneself to the status of an adept at any skill is simply a matter of boring, painstaking, bloody hard WORK.
Philosophy Explorer
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Philosophy Explorer »

Obvious Leo wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:I'm restricting the discussion to humans (including our ancestors).

One way of looking at it is what % of humans are geniuses. One in a thousand or one in a million? How do we recognize genius? What is required beyond to merely think of something that no one else has thought of before? Is Einstein a genius or Plato or Mozart? How does one acquire genius status? Are we born with it or is it developed (or both)? If developed, what conditions lead to it?

What do you think?

PhilX
I don't buy into the genius myth, Phil. Some people are more naturally inclined towards some particular skills rather than others but to elevate oneself to the status of an adept at any skill is simply a matter of boring, painstaking, bloody hard WORK.
Wasn't it Edison who said "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"?

PhilX
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by thedoc »

I remember growing up, every idea I had was made into a joke or ridiculed, so I made a promise that I would encourage my own children in whatever they wanted to try. Could I have achieved more if I had been encouraged? I don't know and will never know now. Have my children done any better? they are all doing what they have chosen to do and are doing well, and seem to be happy doing it. I don't think I could ask for more.
Obvious Leo
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Obvious Leo »

Philosophy Explorer wrote: Wasn't it Edison who said "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"?
I believe it was. We tend to label people as geniuses if they happen to be adept in a field which most of us regard with awe. Thus physicists are often hailed as smarter than the rest of us dumb schmucks but this is bollocks. There is no logical basis whatsoever for assuming that being good at mathematics is somehow a superior talent to being good at anything else. Why isn't Usain Bolt a genius? He can do something that nobody else in the entire world can do which in all likelihood is a feat that has never been performed by a member of our species in its entire history.
Skip
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Skip »

Philosophy Explorer wrote:Wasn't it Edison who said "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"?

PhilX
Did he forget to mention 10% plagiarism? Did he forget standing on the shoulders of giants?
Why isn't Usain Bolt a genius?
I'm pretty sure genius refers exclusively to brain-work. Extraordinary athletic feats, musical talent, strength or unusual abilities are referred to as prodigies or wonders.
Obvious Leo
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Obvious Leo »

Skip wrote:Did he forget to mention 10% plagiarism? Did he forget standing on the shoulders of giants?
Excellent point, and Albert Einstein would be the most famous example. Einstein himself took pains throughout his life to downplay his own reputation as a genius but this was the dawn of the information age and the cult of personality. He quite literally had greatness thrust upon him because he knew that both of his relativity models were in fact deeply flawed. He saw himself as an ordinary bloke who was pretty crappy at maths but had an intuitive flair for thinking outside the box. That's all Albert ever was and all he ever claimed to be.
Daktoria
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Daktoria »

It's really a matter of efficient thinking.

On an intuitive basis, you appreciate the values that enable you to organize your mind and complete tasks so quickly that others can't even keep up. They'll ask, "How did you do that?" because it didn't seem feasible to reach a result with a limited amount of resources and a limited amount of time.

Also, you have to achieve something that goes beyond personal experience. You can't simply repeat something previously encountered. Instead, you have to imagine what's yet to become.

Anyway, check this out when you get the chance. Kant comes to a similar definition when discussing aesthetics in his second critique: http://www.iep.utm.edu/kantaest/#SH2d
Advocate
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Advocate »

As commonly understood, intelligence + knowledge + successful practical application.
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Advocate »

[quote="Obvious Leo" post_id=202952 time=1431570077 user_id=10912]
[quote="Philosophy Explorer"]I'm restricting the discussion to humans (including our ancestors).

One way of looking at it is what % of humans are geniuses. One in a thousand or one in a million? How do we recognize genius? What is required beyond to merely think of something that no one else has thought of before? Is Einstein a genius or Plato or Mozart? How does one acquire genius status? Are we born with it or is it developed (or both)? If developed, what conditions lead to it?

What do you think?

PhilX[/quote]

I don't buy into the genius myth, Phil. Some people are more naturally inclined towards some particular skills rather than others but to elevate oneself to the status of an adept at any skill is simply a matter of boring, painstaking, bloody hard WORK.
[/quote]

Simply my ass. Worldly success, which is the kind of elevation you're talking about, is much more a matter of luck than diligence. And in most cases it requires compliance as a prerequisite, which is antithetical to any philosophy that's better than the average understanding - practically all.
Advocate
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Re: What is the nature of genius?

Post by Advocate »

[quote="Philosophy Explorer" post_id=202953 time=1431570317 user_id=10260]
[quote="Obvious Leo"][quote="Philosophy Explorer"]I'm restricting the discussion to humans (including our ancestors).

One way of looking at it is what % of humans are geniuses. One in a thousand or one in a million? How do we recognize genius? What is required beyond to merely think of something that no one else has thought of before? Is Einstein a genius or Plato or Mozart? How does one acquire genius status? Are we born with it or is it developed (or both)? If developed, what conditions lead to it?

What do you think?

PhilX[/quote]

I don't buy into the genius myth, Phil. Some people are more naturally inclined towards some particular skills rather than others but to elevate oneself to the status of an adept at any skill is simply a matter of boring, painstaking, bloody hard WORK.[/quote]

Wasn't it Edison who said "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"?

PhilX
[/quote]

Edison was surrounded by resources and help - deeply integrated. Unless that applies to you, your work isn't going to be anything close to 99% on what you're good at or interested in.
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