Behavior and Philosophy 31:1 - 17 (2003)

Psychological interpretations of intelligence have varied considerably. Theoretical approaches have differed, among other things, with respect to the number, type, and level of abilities implied by the concept. Recent investigations have suggested, moreover, that people's conception of intelligence is, at least in part, culturally determined, depending upon one's country of origin or ethnic group. In the present paper, we suggest that this theoretical and cultural relativity of the concept is related to the logic of its use in ordinary language. An analysis of the use of intelligence in ordinary language indicated that the concept has an adverbial function, which characterizes an action as successful or well executed under certain conditions. In addition to this, the concept is used at different levels, functioning as an adverbial summary of an individual's actions in general or specific abilities. This adverbial function may be related to the theoretical relativity of intelligence found in psychology, since the concept may be used at various different levels of analysis. Considering that each culture or group may adopt different criteria to identify successful actions, the cultural relativity of intelligence is compatible with its use in ordinary language.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,769
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Hutchinson & Co.
The Abilities of Man: Their Nature and Measurement.C. Spearman - 1927 - Journal of Philosophical Studies 2 (8):557-560.
The Concept of Motivation.R. S. PETERS - 1958 - Philosophy 34 (128):72-73.
Mechanics of Verbal Ability.Earl Hunt - 1978 - Psychological Review 85 (2):109-130.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consciousness, Intentionality, and Intelligence: Some Foundational Issues for Artificial Intelligence.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2000 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):263-277.
The Role of Language in Intelligence.Daniel C. Dennett - 1994 - In Jean Khalfa (ed.), What is Intelligence? The Darwin College Lectures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Doubts About Ordinary Language in Ethics.Rollo Handy - 1960 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 3 (1-4):270 – 277.
On the Logic of Adverbs.Ingmar Pörn - 1983 - Studia Logica 42 (2-3):293 - 298.
Psychological Concepts, Explication, and Ordinary Language.Hilary Putnam - 1957 - Journal of Philosophy 54 (February):94-99.
Natural Problems and Artificial Intelligence.Tracy B. Henley - 1990 - Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):43-55.
Sellars and the Adverbial Theory of Sensation.Thomas Vinci - 1981 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11 (June):199-217.
Human Intelligence and Turing Test.Adam Drozdek - 1998 - AI and Society 12 (4):315-321.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #597,588 of 2,425,353 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #190,470 of 2,425,353 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes