ERIC Number: EJ717879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: 50
Puritan Intelligence: The Ideological Background to IQ
Oxford Review of Education, v31 n3 p423-442 Sep 2005
Given well-known difficulties in justifying the Galtonian conception of intelligence as innate general intellectual capacity, a historical explanation is required of why this problematic notion became so prominent in Britain and in the USA in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Parallels are drawn between it and various features of the thought-world of the Puritans, including ideas of predestination, the elect, salvation, vocation, and intellectual education. An examination of the family backgrounds of the leading pioneers of intelligence and intelligence testing reveals that most, if not all, of them had puritan roots. A final section focuses on the tight connexion made between Galtonian intelligence and abstract thinking. It suggests that this may be linked with the central role of logic in puritan thought and its alliance with "pneumatology", the forerunner of scientific psychology.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain); United States