The mind, the power to reason as distinguished from the power to feel.

Intellect’s Cold Thinking Ability


Intellect is our mind’s ability to distinguish between true and false, as well as the facility to reason out and solve problems. Although it has this simple scientific definition, it does so much more for us than just that. It talks about our mental ability that enables us to understand ourselves and the world around us, focusing on the rational mental process resulting from external stimuli.

Intellect is considered a part of intelligence. However, unlike intelligence, it remains purely rational, with no feelings involved. It relies deeply on experiences in order to grow and mature. Previous information gained through the physical senses and the ability to solve problems gives intellect a higher capacity to improve our response to such stimuli, which basically consist of past experiences that can pave the way for us to gain a concrete understanding of reality.

Intellect has also been tapped into as an efficient therapeutic means of approaching problem-solving in a conscious, rational, scientific, cool and somehow detached attitude, parallel with Freud’s concept of ID Ego and Superego as part of the human personality. Although the concept on intellect can be hard to grasp, it can be simply explained as the part of our intelligence that stays cool — the one that doesn’t involve any emotions. It deals with the real, tangible things in our world. It takes from previous experiences and builds on them in a sort of ‘robotic’ way, simply putting the pieces together as it makes sense. Not tapping into other senses like intuition or imagination, it only takes what it is necessary in the real world in order to work out a solution.

Although intellect and intelligence are commonly confused with one another, it is very important to understand their difference. The fact that intelligence is a more complex concept does not make intellect any less important. A great intellect by itself, however, doesn’t mean a person is particularly intelligent. Nevertheless, the development of intellect, along with emotional growth, can eventually lead to intelligence.

Can you imagine what life would be like if you didn’t have intellect? You wouldn’t be able to do all the practical thinking you do throughout every single day of your life. Could you live only on emotions? Probably not. Intellect provides you with the solid ground upon which you can make one sound decision after another. It is like a concrete base support on which you can create a whole structure and later embellish.

In a nutshell, it is safe to consider intellect as the mental foundation necessary before we start working on anything else. Once we have a solid foundation, solving the problem in front of us will become easier to handle and everything else will fall into place. When our imagination or emotions kick in at the wrong time and start suggesting far-fetched ideas for real-life issues, it is our sound intellect and mental faculties that will guide us back to the solid ground of reality and come up with more viable solutions. Intellect is like the harness meant to restrain our ever-floating hot air balloon of emotions and imagination.