understanding of complex instructions or simply, all-round cognitive ability (Eynseck 1982, p. 8)25 Paik also submitted that: A common thread in all of these definitions of intelligence is that they all require the nervous system, especially the brain, and sensory organs to be functioning properly?26 From these definitions and explanations of the nature of intelligence, we can submit as follows: • • • • •
Intelligence is a human attribute, a capacity for knowing. It is biological in origin, although it is not a given biological entity like a cell, tissue or organ. It is epigenetic i.e. can progressively develop apart from hereditary trait levels, depending on the environment. It is noegenetic i.e. originates new knowledge. The capacity of intelligence may not be actualized if not exercised.
These attributes of intelligence, though not exhaustive, are of critical importance to educational practice. Psychological theories of intelligence that complement the philosophical are those concerning the debate of the oneness versus multiplicity of intelligences. Psychologists who submit that human intelligence is one general construct, i.e. g are Galton, Spearman, and Eynseck among others while Thurstone, Gardner, and Sternberg submit that humans possess multiple intelligences.Proponents of one general intelligence anchor their position on the assumption that: 25
Hans /S. Paik. One intelligence of many? Alternative approaches to cognitive abilities, http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/paikhtml, retrieved 2/19/2009. 26 Ibid.
Published on Sep 1, 2009