The Relation of
Intelligence to Other
Valued Human Capacities
During the celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, this master musician was put to many different uses.Such exploitation is not surprising, because the work of Mozart has spoken to so many individuals over so many years in so many powerful ways. Mozart has also been spoken of in many ways: as a genius, a prodigy, an expert, an individual who is talented, creative, intelligent, and gifted.I hope it will be seen as a token of respect, rather than as a mark of further exploitation, if I draw on the case of Mozart for yet two further purposes: (1) to clarify the nature of the terminology that we use in talking about exceptional individuals; and (2) to introduce a particular perspective that I have brought to bear in the area of human talents or gifts.
Mozart evokes a plethora of positive characterizations.He is our prototype of a prodigy, as precocious as Pablo Picasso or John Stuart Mill, as preternaturally talented as his fellow musicians Felix Mendelssohn or Camille Saint-Saëns.He is seen as infinitely creative, as unmistakably individualistic as Igor Stravinsky or Richard Wagner, though exhibiting an ingenuity that is evolutionary rather than revolutionary in character.He is as productive as his prolific contemporaries, Antonio Salieri or Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf.And he is granted a deep intelligence, an insight into the human condition that is as profound as