Chapter

More than concepts: How multiple integrations make human intelligence

Linda B. Smith

in The Making of Human Concepts

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199549221
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191724152 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549221.003.016
More than concepts: How multiple integrations make human intelligence

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This chapter argues that human intelligence emerges in the accrued effects of many different integrations of heterogeneous processes, each integration occurring as the consequence of doing some task. A complex system that must find solutions to many different overlapping tasks creates the specialness of human intelligence, an intelligence capable of inventing alphabets, writing poetry, building bridges, and jerry-rigging a broken door lock. The developmental processes that make human intelligence are bound to a structured world that includes conspecifics with a shared language, culture, and enduring artefacts, and thus these contexts in which human development occurs are also important parts of the process. In brief, what is ‘special’ about human intelligence is precisely the opposite of those accounts that propose specially evolved, innate, dedicated, and encapsulated systems.

Keywords: human intelligence; integration; multiple modalities; learning

Chapter.  13523 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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