348. Situated Intelligence

October 29, 2014

Situated intelligence refers to the makeup of the mind in any particular situation. It is the structure of the mind as assembled from the collective dimensions of consciousness active at that moment. Those dimensions include some mix of sensory impressions, understanding, imagination, emotion, values, drives, humor, judgment, memory, and so on.

Whatever its composition, situated intelligence drives and regulates the loop of engagement coursing from perception through meaning and judgment to action in the world, and back to the next round of engagement beginning with expectancy, attention, and sensory impressions.

Situated intelligence is what we refer to as the self, I, ego, and so on. There is no homunculus keeping an eye on the world; there is only the assembly of particular dimensions of mind as briefly constituted in a given situation. In a few milliseconds that structure will evolve as the situation develops, our judgments will shift, and we will act more or less appropriately to the next stage of awareness. William James referred to this progression as the stream of consciousness.

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