On Intelligence (Classic Reprint)

On Intelligence (Classic Reprint)

by H. Taine
     
 

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Excerpt from On Intelligence

If I am not mistaken, we mean nowadays by Intelligence, what was formerly called Understanding or Intellect - that is to say, the faculty of knowing; this, at least, is the sense in which I have taken the word.

At all events, I here intend to examine our knowledge, that is to say our cognitions, and nothing else. The words faculty,

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Excerpt from On Intelligence

If I am not mistaken, we mean nowadays by Intelligence, what was formerly called Understanding or Intellect - that is to say, the faculty of knowing; this, at least, is the sense in which I have taken the word.

At all events, I here intend to examine our knowledge, that is to say our cognitions, and nothing else. The words faculty, capacity, power, which have played so great a part in psychology, are only, as we shall see, convenient names by means of which we put together, in distinct compartments, all facts of a distinct kind; these names indicate a character common to all the facts under a distinct heading; they do not indicate a mysterious and profound essence, remaining constant and hidden under the flow of transient facts. This is why I have treated of cognitions only, and, if I have mentioned faculties, it has been to show that in themselves, and as distinct entities, they do not exist.

Such a precaution as this is very necessary. By means of it, psychology becomes a science of facts; for our cognitions are facts; we can speak with precision and detail of a sensation, of an idea, of a recollection, of a prevision, as well as of a vibration, or other physical movement in the one case as in the other there is a fact in question; it may be reproduced, observed, described; it has its precedents, its accompaniments, its consequents. In little, well-selected, important, significant facts, stated with full details and minutely noted, we find at present the materials of every science; each of them is an instructive specimen, the head of a rank, a salient example, a clear type to which a whole row of analogous cases conform; our main business is to know its elements, how they arise, in what manner and under what conditions they combine, and what are the constant effects of combinations so produced.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781332312511
Publisher:
FB &c Ltd
Publication date:
08/05/2015
Pages:
560
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.14(d)

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