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KeithP

What was Ayn Rand's IQ?

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I recall that the automaker, Bentley, maker of some of the largest and most luxurious yet powerful cars, rather than specifying or boasting of engine horsepower, simply listed horsepower as "adequate."

I think Ayn Rand's IQ could be similarly described. Adequate, for creating a revolutionary and true philosophy and the best novels written. She had all the intelligence she required to accomplish her goals.

That is like saying that the sun is an adequare source of light and needs no further study. I contend that Ayn Rands ideas and philosophy was so unique and revolutionary that in order to accomplish what she did (and in a second launguage at that) is indicitave of genius. I was hoping her IQ had been quantified because I believe she is to philosophy what Einstein was to physics and what Leonardo was to art.

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I'd say AR would score well on an IQ test. She was a genius at Philosophy as far as I can tell. She was also a highly motivated person obviously, just look at her body of work. Keep in mind also that English was a 2nd language and you couldn't tell that in her writing. Overall she was a very impressive intellect.

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Whoops, my own memory wasn't adeqate. It wasn't Bentley, it was Rolls Royce, who until recently, simply stated horsepower as "adequate."

That makes the analogy with Ayn Rand even apter! What Rolls Royce is to cars, Miss Rand was to thinkers.

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One can build up one's intelligence, or one's proficiency at learning, integrating, and using new knowledge. One critical component is having a proper philosophy.

I'm sorry, but this is plainly ridiculous. I've known some AMAZINGLY intelligent people with no philosophy to speak of or an extremely bad one. The person with the highest IQ on record is not an Objectivist and has mixed premises: Marilyn vos Savant.

I think it's funny that it's a woman, of course. :lol:

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I'm sorry, but this is plainly ridiculous.  I've known some AMAZINGLY intelligent people with no philosophy to speak of or an extremely bad one.  The person with the highest IQ on record is not an Objectivist and has mixed premises: Marilyn vos Savant.

I think it's funny that it's a woman, of course.  :lol:

Jennifer

I think y_feldblum is getting a person's intrinsic intelligience capacity confused with one's ability to use it and one's acquired knowledge. That's where I think the disagreement lies but of course he can correct me if I'm wrong. This capacity obviously exists because one can easily see its absence, i.e, in a mentally retarded person.

In regards to that Savant lady I've a lot of her columns in Parade magazine and she doesn't seem to me to be of exceeding intelligience, but I would be willing to bet if she adopted a proper philosophy she could "shine".

edited by Rational_One to correct spelling

Edited by Rational_One

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In regards to that Savant lady I've a lot of her columns in Parade magazine and she doesn't seem to me to be of exceeding intelligience, but I would be willing to bet if she adopted a proper philosophy she could "shine".

She doesn't often publish the impossible math questions people send her, but she wrote the proof of Fermat's Last Theorum in book form. You can buy a copy if you're interested.

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There are innate differences between people. Often in mentally retarted people certain parts of the brain are non-functioning or functioning less than to their capacity or are impaired in some way, eg if they suffer from a genetic disorder.

Some people also have increased innate capacity in certain parts of the brain. But that does not determine intelligence. It merely determines how easy or difficult it is to become more intelligent.

I don't mean that a person cannot be intelligent without having discovered Objectivism for herself. I mean that an implicit grounding in reality, an unstated drive to excel, etc., serve to help a person improve her intelligence.

Of course there are many intelligent people who are not Objectivists. But implicitly knowing - or acting on, or having as sense-of-life - some component of a proper philosophy, even without having consciously integrated Objectivism better than Ayn Rand ever did, is critical to developing one's intelligence that much more.

There is no theoretical limit to a person's intelligence. It's like economics. Efforts at a certain level of "productivity" to improve one's intelligence show diminishing returns, but society-wide progress in thought becomes a giant on whom to stand and increases the "productivity" of each person improving his intelligence.

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Yup, y_feldblum is definitely confusing intelligence with acquisition and application of knowledge. Intelligence is a capacity. Psychological studies point to the fact that each individual is born with a certain level of genetic functionality. By assisting a child's development you can nudge them towards peak functionality for their genetic allowance, but you can't turn someone of barely average intelligence into a 250 IQ super-genius. Period. You would have to do a "Flowers for Algernon"-style chemical/genetic manipulation.

It was my mother's contention that, given enough time (and assuming a functioning brain, at least) anyone could learn to do anything. Personally, I'm not sure. Perhaps they could go through the motions, but they'd hardly be capable of generating creative work.

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Jennifer Snow:

"Dictionary.com defines intelligence as "the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge"

"The person with the highest IQ on record is not an Objectivist and has mixed premises: Marilyn vos Savant."

y_feldblum

"One can build up one's intelligence, or one's proficiency at learning, integrating, and using new knowledge. One critical component is having a proper philosophy.

Intelligence isn't a reflection of morality and morality isn't necessarily a reflection of intelligence. I think of Ellsworth Toohey - very intelligent/completely immoral.

In fact a high level of intelligence is often required to evade on the level so many government officials or postmodern 'philosophers' do.

Like repression/supression, intellectulization is one extremely efficient tool of evasion.

---

In regards to the dictionary definition supplied by Jennifer; consider the variety of forms of knowledge - there is sensual knowledge, abstract knowledge and even innate knowledge. Ill give an example - imagine a red car passing by on a road. The knowledge that the car is 1) red 2) moving 3) in a direction relative to the road 4) is a mercedes 5) is a mercedes you recognize as your uncles etc are all interpreted in different parts of the brain. Consider the effects of damage to the color perceiving area of the brain, or the motion sensing area of the brain or indeed the pathway connecting the two. (eg: There are medical cases where individuals have lost the ability to perceive motion and see the world in frame clicks). That you can interpret any of these features from variations of light wavelength/intensity at all is the result of assumptions about the world, physically (i.e. genetically) built into your hardware (brain/eyes). An example of the latter is the assumption that light illuminating an area generally comes from one or few sources.

My point is that intelligence isn't in data aquisition, or even in recognition of data - its in the processing and integration of the facts you do have (rather than the extent to which you can acquire facts). Of course that accounts for logic too as we can deduce further facts and predict future events through consideration of those we have. In relation to IQ tests I think the subjects must be aware of the facts involved in the questions - i.e. you cannot tell anything about a persons intelligence from the fruit question listed earlier unless you know what each type of fruit is.

Im open to ideas.

----

Edited to add idea: On this basis I'd consider freewill in terms of the extent to which one allows their ideas/processing to willfully reflect reality. Through choice we have the power to create our own contextual/subjective reality that suits our circumstances - eg. the failure of a religious boy to challenge the rationally unacceptable doctrines of the community he lives in for the sake of fitting in.

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I don't believe I am confusing anything. Perhaps we have differing views as to the nature of human consciousness.

Consciousness being the faculty of perceiving reality. What does that have to do with the efficacy of one's hardware?

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I remember reading Ayn Rand wonder in her journals about whether she had an excess of intelligence, or of honesty, in respect to those around her. She said she was inclined to pick honesty as the attribute that most contributed to her success.

I like that. :lol:

In my own opinion, it's not the size of a person's intelligence that matters but how he or she uses it. There are a lot of people who are blessed with a tremendous amount of natural intelligence, but they squander it. From what I understand the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski had a genius-level I.Q.

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Yup, y_feldblum is definitely confusing intelligence with acquisition and application of knowledge.  Intelligence is a capacity.  Psychological studies point to the fact that each individual is born with a certain level of genetic functionality.  By assisting a child's development you can nudge them towards peak functionality for their genetic allowance, but you can't turn someone of barely average intelligence into a 250 IQ super-genius.  Period.  You would have to do a "Flowers for Algernon"-style chemical/genetic manipulation.

It was my mother's contention that, given enough time (and assuming a functioning brain, at least) anyone could learn to do anything.  Personally, I'm not sure.  Perhaps they could go through the motions, but they'd hardly be capable of generating creative work.

I know this is technically against forum rules but I must say that the above is pretty much my thinking on the subject too.

I used to think like your mother, but then I realized having a correct philosophy, i.e., thinking correctly, is more important especially if one wants to be a "prime mover" or creator. This is of course assuming the person has a correctly operating brain (he is not mentally handicapped). So a person with an average IQ and a proper rational philosophy will more times than not do much better in life than even a genius with a poor philosophy. And by "better" I mean being a creator or at least a solid producer. While the genius with a bad philosophy might "get by" by becoming a Kantian philosophy professor or some other teacher (or worse yet coercive enforcer) of nonsense. :lol:

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I remember reading Ayn Rand wonder in her journals about whether she had an excess of intelligence, or of honesty, in respect to those around her. She said she was inclined to pick honesty as the attribute that most contributed to her success.

This is fascinating. Thomas Stanley is a demographer that has done a series of studies on millionaires in America, and by far (like 88% to 15% or so) they chose integrity/honesty over a high IQ to account for their success. There's quite a bit more data to support Objectivism, but that's neat that it shows up in Ayn Rand.

edited to correct spelling.

Edited by walsh

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I naively joined Mensa a few years ago, thinking that I'd find some rational, reasonable thinkers. I was incorrect (membership has since lapsed). It's likely that high IQ, in conjunction with an insatiable curiosity and drive to pursue the truth, gave Rand the ability to develop a fully integrated philosophy. It's likely she also had a passion about fighting ideas destructive to freedom. In the context of what she has created, it is irrelevant what her IQ was. Does it matter more what Edison's IQ was or that his inventions revolutionized the world?

:lol:

Demetrius

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  Does it matter more what Edison's IQ was or that his inventions revolutionized the world?

:)

Demetrius

More to the point, does it matter that Edison had a high I.Q. or that he had an optimistic work ethic?

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This is sort of in reply to all...

Regarding intellegence- this is one of those constructs that psychologists and others wrestle with, because it is VERY difficult to define. If you think of people you know, it is easy to say "So-and-so is an incredibly bright person" or "So-and-so is not the sharpest knife in the drawer" but it gets to be a tangled mess when you try to quantify intellegence.

The Standford-Binet Intellegence Quotient (the "IQ" test most people refer to) is actually a pretty darn good test, IF you come from the culture for which it was written, AND if you are taking a recent version. All published tests, including IQ tests, are rewritten every once in a while, and are thouroughly checked for 'goodness' (item-by-item and as a whole, and compared to tests that are similar and ones that are different, among other things). Given that we have seen a great deal of change in societal values as far as gender and race equity etc. go, it should come as no surprise that test-makers make an effort to make very fair tests. So if I took the most recent version of the IQ test, and also took the test from 20 years ago, it wouldn't be a leap to predict that I would get two different scores.

If we knew Rand's IQ, the most useful thing we could do with it is say "Well, yes, she was brilliant and the IQ test picked up on it," or "Well, she was brilliant and obviously the IQ test measured her incorrectly." A score on any test is only one part in the overall picture of a human.

Except when IQ is being used officially, people like to use the scores in whichever way it suits them. For example, if it was found that Rand's IQ tested at 100 (precisely average), then her detractors would flaunt that number as "proof" that she wasn't anything special. If she scored a 170 (well into the "genius" range), her detractors would point fingers at the "huge inconsistancies" in standardized testing.

Also what comes to mind is one of the things which Galt said in his radio address (I don't have my copy, so not a direct quote!)- That your intellegence matters less than your relentless use of your mind.

(edited to add content)

Edited by Adleza

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