Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature

By Douglas Keith Candland | Go to book overview

9 Exploiting the Missing Link

IF THERE exists a Mental Ladder that separates animal forms in terms of their abilities to think, remember, feel, solve problems, and the like, might there not be like separations to be found within species? Indeed, might not the individual members of a species be separable in terms of their mental capacities? If such distinctions can be made reliably, might they not be correlated with some other factors, especially genetic ones, for, after all, are not such capacities determined or at least limited by genes?

Just as Itard set out to test theories of the intellect current during his times with Victor and Singh to worry about the education of the soul during his times, so Witmer's Psychological Clinic was testing a nascent theory to be found at the turn of this century in the United States-- namely, that U.S.-style democracy, when appropriately arranged and applied, was capable of giving each human being the degree and kind of education suitable to that child's talent and ability. It was an audacious and a daring idea, for it argued tacitly that the effect of genetic variation was unrelated to class. Or, to press the point, that class status was unrelated to ability. Witmer did not develop the intellectual and political ramifications of this view, at least not in the journal he founded and edited, The Psychological Clinic. By his actions, however, he did demonstrate his view that mental ability could be measured in such a way that each human being could be offered an educational process that utilized her or his abilities, regardless of the wealth and social background of the parents. Hear Witmer make the point:

"One does not expect figs to grow from thistles, and the slum child seems naturally destined by the force of heredity to grow into an inefficient adult. There are many reasons, however, for repudiating this belief in the potency of heredity. The different races of men are not separated from one another as are the fig tree and the thistle. The different social classes of the white races constitute more nearly a single human family. Modern research, such as the parliamentary investigation into the physical deterioration of the English people, indicates that the degeneracy which

-227-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 414

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.