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What is Intelligence, Anyway?. Hyemin Jung 4/26/12 Kalpana Iyengar EN1313. What is Intelligence, Anyway?. What is Intelligence, Anyway?.

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What is Intelligence, Anyway?

Hyemin Jung




What is Intelligence, Anyway?

What is Intelligence, Anyway?

In What is Intelligence, Anyway?, a science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov addresses the question of what intelligence really is to general readers without technical or scientific discussion of intelligence.

What is Intelligence, Anyway?

There is not an absolute quality or set of abilities we can call intelligence.


  • He has academic training and a verbal talent
  • He received 160 on his aptitude test

Asimov’s auto repairman

  • He has great manual dexterity
  • He is not considered as an intelligent person
What is Intelligence, Anyway?

If the intelligence tests are made up by a carpenter or a farmer, Asimov would not be satisfied with the test result. In this way, there is more than one kind of intelligence, but intelligence is limited to only academic questions.

What is Intelligence, Anyway?

In the last part of story, Asimov gave the wrong answer with the repairman’s joke, while making scissoring motions to explain how the blind customer asked for scissors. Then repairman sarcastically commented that Asimov could not be very smart even though he could be intelligent.

  • What was the right answer with the repairman’s joke?
  • The author gives an example that he cannot do even though he has high intelligence. What is it?
  • Why is the intelligence test incomplete?
  • If the questions for an intelligence test are made up by a carpenter or a farmer, how will be the author’s score changed?
  • According to the repairman’s joke, who did go into a hardware store to ask for some nails?

According to Dr. Howard Gardner at Harvard University, Nine types of intelligence

  • verbal, mathematical, musical, artistic, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and natural intelligence

Most people tend to focus on verbal intelligence, but we should know that we have all of different kinds of intelligence. There is only difference between which intelligence is stronger.

Thank you!

Thank you!