PSA 1974 pp 143-180 | Cite as

IQ, Heritability, and Human Nature

  • Norman Daniels
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 32)


Scientific revolutions are no everyday affair. So it is of some importance that Fortune (Alexander, 1972) and several other major magazines have recently proclaimed that we are in the midst of a major Kuhnian revolution in the social sciences, one that has significant implications for social policy. According to these magazines, ‘environmentalist’ theories, which assume that equalization of human environments and opportunities will increase equality of achievement between individuals, groups, and races, are in ‘crisis’. The crisis exists because the egalitarian reform programs of the 1960’s, which relied on such theories and thus constituted tests of them, failed to equalize achievement. In the face of this crisis, Fortune suggests, scientists are welcoming evidence from the study of ducks, baboons, and humans which points to “a basic intractability in human nature, a resistance to being guided and molded for improving society” (Alexander, 1972,p. 132). But if human nature is intractable, the argument continues, then social policy should be adjusted to recognize the inherited capacities and differences between individuals, groups and races, rather than continue to insist on unrealistic egalitarian reform programs.


Human Nature Test Item Heritability Estimate High Heritability Human Intelligence 
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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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Daniels
    • 1
  1. 1.Tufts UniversityUSA

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