Constituents of Intelligence

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As part of our exploration of civic intelligence we are examining a variety of capabilities that help comprise intelligence in individuals. It's our working hypothesis that examining these will help inform our investigation of intelligence in groups and other collectivities.

And note the questions at the end of this list...

Copy this template onto the page for each of the following capabilities:


Is "believing" its own capability or does it belong under "knowledge?" -based on the chapter from Kluge we read on belief, I do not think it belongs under knowledge. But, what is knowledge except for what we "believe" -- especially when we're talking about the actual state of affairs -- not an "ideal" in which we "know" that our "knowledge" is absolutely true.

Is "assessing" its own capability or does it belong under "decision-making?" -assessing is a review of information, where decision making is a point of judgement leading forward Yes, but the only way you really could have "decision-making" without "assessing" would be to make decisions randomly. But maybe assessing goes with evaluating?

Does "consensus" fit in with decision making? Is decision making a singular subject or do we want to incorporate it as a group subject as well?

Is "goal-setting" its own capability or does it belong under "planning?" -these two do seem to be the same mechanism to me. But, as above, can you have planning without goal-setting?

  • What is Multiple Intelligence?

Conceived by Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences are seven different ways to demonstrate intellectual ability.
Howard Gardner initially formulated a list of seven intelligences. His listing was provisional. The first two have been typically valued in schools; the next three are usually associated with the arts; and the final two are what Howard Gardner called 'personal intelligences' (Gardner 1999: 41-43).

Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.

Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.

Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related.

Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.

Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.

(Excerpted from [this site on Howard Gardner's work] See further links here: