History and Philosophy Of Science | Intelligence for Everyone
X126 | 26405 | S. Brian Hood

Brian Hood
Intelligence for Everyone
MW   1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

What is “intelligence” and where did it come from?  Does
intelligence have anything to do with “race”?  Do bigger brains
equal bigger smarts? What is the connection between the study of
intelligence and the eugenics movement?  In this course we will
examine all these questions and many others, including why it is
that IQ scores have been steadily increasing over time (though it is
unclear that we are getting any “smarter”).  We will study the
recent history of intelligence research and popular criticisms of
this research from psychologists, biologists, and philosophers.  The
aim of this course is to assess the credibility of the science of
human mental ability, a science that, for better or worse, has had a
significant impact on education policy and people’s perceptions of
one another.  At its best, the scientific study of intelligence
seems to clue us in on the mysteries of individual differences; at
its worst, it is simply a façade of scientific legitimacy masking
racist and classist ambitions.  This course is appropriate for
anyone with an interest in the psychology and/or its history, the
philosophy of science, or education policy.  There are no
prerequisites (or IQ requirement) for this course.