The concept of intellectual transcendence is attractive, but unclear. What would such transcendence be like? We can’t say, and on reflection it becomes obvious that we cannot form a clear idea of intellectual transcendence without having actually achieved that state? Unfortunately, this makes someone who has not achieved intellectual transcendence vulnerable to exploitation by anyone falsely claiming that they have done so. Unfortunately, even if there is someone who has actually achieved this wonderful state they won’t be able to help the exploited party since a person who has not achieved intellectual transcendence won’t be able to distinguish the genuine article from the fake.

It would appear, therefore, to be better and certainly safer to reject this concept. In any case, the idea appears to be generated from very humble roots. The subject experiences their own existence as both subjective consciousness and bodily sensation. However, we only experience other people as bodies mediated via our own bodily sensations. To put it crudely, we only infer that other people are conscious too, and in fact we frequently only attribute consciousness to others in a very depleted sense. I realise that no one will wish to admit to this, but candid reflection will I think confirm the fact that we hardly ever attribute to others the complex consciousness of our own state. One suspects that the concept of intellectual transcendence is derived from this self-centered perspective, and so has little more content than the solipsism from which it is derived. In other words, one discounts the bodily fact in general on the ground that we see bodies outside ourselves, but we don’t experience any one else’s consciousness. Thus, it is inferred that bodies like our own are not necessarily conscious at all, and certainly not in the way that we are, and that therefore the intellect must be transcendent. I am describing here the genesis of an intuition, not a convincing chain of reasoning leading to a conclusion.