Language, Intelligence, and Thought

Robin Barrow


In this text, first published in 1993, Barrow decisively rejects the traditional assumption that intelligence has no educational significance and contends instead that intelligence is developed by the enlargement of understanding. Arguing that much educational research is driven by a concept of intelligence that has no obvious educational relevance, Dr Barrow suggests that this is partly due to a widespread lack of understanding about the nature and point of philosophical analysis, and partly due to a failure to face up to the value judgements that are necessarily involved in analysing a concept such as intelligence. If intelligence is to be of educational significance, it must be understood in terms that allow it to be educable. Written by a philosopher of education, this study offers a reasoned and extended argument in favour of an original view of philosophical analysis. It focuses on the issue of intelligence from a philosophical perspective. It should be of interest to students of education, philosophy and the philosophy of education alike.

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