Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: Intelligence and epistemology

Epistemology and Intelligence – Some philosophical problems to be solved

E’ con mio grande piacere annunciare la pubblicazione del mio articolo Epistemology and intelligence (https://doi.org/10.1080/23800992.2018.1532180) nella rivista internazionale The international Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs. Invito tutti gli interessati a segnalarmi eventualmente il loro interesse e nel frattempo li rimando alla pagina del giornale.


Giangiuseppe Pili (2018) Epistemology and Intelligence – Some Philosophical Problems to be Solved, The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs, 20:3, 252-270, DOI: 10.1080/23800992.2018.1532180

The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs, 2018


I want to consider puzzles that must be solved to formulate a theory of epistemology of intelligence. My aim is not to build a theory. I want to create the foundations of a good approach to an epistemological theory of intelligence. To reach this step, unsolved problems must be considered; I formulate them in an analytical manner, that is, I consider them as philosophical puzzles, similar to epistemology. This is the preliminary step toward a new way of thinking about old issues. We must face our primary difficulties in the best manner, that is, we need an epistemology of intelligence.

How can Epistemology improve Intelligence Analysis?

What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.

Sun Tzu, Art of War, VI bc.

urlIntelligence agencies deals everyday with a massive amount of information collected by different gathering methods and they have to process them in order to produce assessments, reports and briefs for politicians and decision-makers. This is a real challenge, given the limited time, the huge quantity of data they have to go through and the imprecise and incomplete nature of these data. This intellectual challenge is the task of intelligence analysis, that stage of the process that has to “make sense” out of all this information received at the agencies’ headquarters. Both the institutional and the academic world have been concerned with issues about intelligence analysis, as it seems to be one of the most critical parts of intelligence: it is here that raw information are transformed and politicians receive the materials on which decide from here. Thus everyone would like to improve intelligence analysis as much as possible and many articles and books have developed and offered techniques and tools to reduce analysts’ errors while increasing their analytical ability.