Ah! More pot stirring. Stir away. Just another form trolling.
Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>The fatuity of Eliot's maundering stems from the empty concept of
>"intelligence," viewed as an individual trait, like height or eye color or
>sense of smell. It simply does not exist.
>I responded to Eliot's maunderings because I read them just after reading an
>important post on another list:
>From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>On Behalf Of Angelus Novus
>Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 1:22 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [lbo-talk] The Rise of the Evolutionary Psychology Douchebag
>They believe that certain groups of people are inherently smarter than
>others. They write books about how rape is a natural part of human
>evolution. And now, with another scandal rocking the world of evolutionary
>psychology, we can officially welcome a new breed of mad scientist into the
>spotlight: evopsych douchebags. Evolutionary psychology has often been a
>field whose most prominent practitioners get embroiled in controversy -
>witness the 2010 case of Harvard professor Marc Hauser, whose graduate
>students came forward to say he'd been faking evidence for years. Then there
>was the case of Diederik Stapel, whose social psychology work shared a lot
>of territory with evopsych. He came forward in late 2011 to admit that most
>of his data was sheer invention.
>The fallacy, that Intelligence is a _trait_, like eye color or fingerprints,
>is as misleading in respect to individuals as to various arbitrary
>groupings. And both Eliot and too many of his admirers are real suckers for
>this myth. My daughter was a victim of the same myth when back in 2008 she
>voted for Obama on the grounds that she wanted someone intelligent! But
>intelligence, in so far as it is an intelligible concept at all, is a
>function of _relations_ not of individuals. Obama is objectively less
>"intelligent" than Bush, since his policies do no more than dot the I's,
>cross the t's, and place italics on Bush's policy initiatives. Or as a
>friend puts it, "Obama in form, Bush in Substance."
>Now, the texts that go under the name of "Aristotle" are in fact endlessly
>fascinating, but they give no evidence one way or the other of Aristotle's
>"intelligence." That is a grotesque myth. Nor does the fatuity of Eliot's
>quoted words give any evidence of Eliot's "intelligence" or lack of it.
>They reflect a social position, not the biological "trait" of an individual.
>Wherever and Whenever we find ourselves we are always already enmeshed in an
>ensemble of social relations, social relations, moreover, which are
>endlessly c hanging, and which the physical properties of our brains are
>only one (also endlessly changing) element. (Note: at the end of this
>sentence your brain will have _physically_ changed. Touch the fabric of your
>shirt: your brain has changed physically.) We may speak, crudely, of a
>person's cognitive powers as expressed in a given action or verbal
>expression; crudely because the "same" cognitive power has enver existed
>before and will never exist again. Change is constant. The pitter-patter of
>TIAs over the last decade as well as ordinary aging is affecting my
>"cognitive" power, but in a constantly changing way as I find myself in
>different social relations (the preceding parts of this text already having
>changed the world in which my "snynapeses" and "neurons" act. Anyone's
>"intelligence" is an endlessly changing process, not a trait of the
>individual as such. It is really quite ignorant to spoeak of Aristotle's
>intelligence rather than of the inter4est of the texts named after hm.