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Intelligence and the Heritability Problem

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Abstract

There is a perfectly good sense in which it can be said that because an organism is intelligent it is therefore able to behave in ways that fits that description of its behaviour. In other words, animals behave intelligently if they are intelligent. This argument is not necessarily circular and is routinely encountered in scientific work. The thesis is obviously a fundamental assumption of research into the evolution of intelligence. Thus, Wind (1983, pp. 24–5) argues, ‘it is evident that the increase in intelligence contributed to catching prey and to its transportation, storage, distribution, processing, and digestion (e.g. by the use of fire)’. In this statement ‘intelligence’ must refer to a functional capacity of the mind/brain which has produced definite changes in human culture. Lawick-Goodall (1971, p. 114) similarly observes of a dominant male chimpanzee that his, ‘deliberate use of man-made objects was probably an indication of superior intelligence’. This says that the behaviour of the chimpanzee indicates a permanent mental organisation, a neural state or condition of some kind, which makes it possible for the animal to form whatever concepts are involved in realising that objects of a certain type can be manipulated in certain ways in order to achieve certain ends. In this field a causal and materialist psychology is virtually taken-for-granted.

Keywords

  • Cognitive Performance
  • Genetic Programme
  • Milk Yield
  • Intellectual Ability
  • Genetic Endowment

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-21143-2_7
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© 1990 Roy Nash

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Nash, R. (1990). Intelligence and the Heritability Problem. In: Intelligence and Realism. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-21143-2_7

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