The Origins of Intelligence in Children

The Origins of Intelligence in Children

The Origins of Intelligence in Children

The Origins of Intelligence in Children

Excerpt

The question of the relationships between mind and biological organization is one which inevitably arises at the beginning of a study of the origins of intelligence. True, a discussion of that sort cannot lead to any really definite conclusion at this time, but, rather than to submit to the implications of one of the various possible solutions to this problem, it is better to make a clear choice in order to separate the hypotheses which form the point of departure for our inquiry.

Verbal or cogitative intelligence is based on practical or sensorimotor intelligence which in turn depends on acquired and recombined habits and associations. These presuppose, furthermore, the system of reflexes whose connection with the organism's anatomical and morphological structure is apparent. A certain continuity exists, therefore, between intelligence and the purely biological processes of morphogenesis and adaptation to the environment. What does this mean?

It is obvious, in the first place, that certain hereditary factors condition intellectual development. But that can be interpreted in two ways so different in their biological meaning that confusing the one with the other is probably what has obfuscated the classic controversy over innate ideas and epistemological a priorism.

The hereditary factors of the first group are structural and are connected with the constitution of our nervous system and of our sensory organs. Thus we perceive certain physical radia-

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