Are you book smart, good at math, or a logic problem pro? If so, you are likely labeled as intelligent. We see people with a command of language, numbers, or puzzles as highly valued in society.
But is this definition of intelligence too limiting? Could there be different ways to measure the capacity of a brain?
Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, argues in his theory of multiple intelligences that there are eight different intelligences. They are:
- Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)
- Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
- Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
- Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
- Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
- Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
- Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
- Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)
What is intelligence? How could society benefit from a broader view of what it means to be smart? How would we be different? On a personal level, how are you smart? (Traditional intelligences are okay too.)
Related questions: How Do You Learn? How Are You Special? When Is It Useful To Fail?
Which are you more comfortable with, letters or numbers? Which is more important?
Share why if you wish.
How do you make your decisions, with logic or with emotion? Is thinking or feeling more important to you?
Share why if you wish.
We live in turbulent times. Politically, accusations of lies are thrown in both directions. A new term has entered our lexicon to capture this idea: Fake News. Everyone seems to bemoan the lack of truth in our conversation.
We want truth, from our politicians, from corporations, from family members. But can we recognize truth when we are exposed to it?
It has gotten to the point that two different people can observe the same event, and have different beliefs about what occurred. How can these two viewpoints be reconciled? Is one “true” and the other “false”? Or are they both some combination of true and false? And if so, how can you hope to convince each that the other is right, at least a little bit?
We live in a complicated world, and making sense of it with information coming from a variety of different sources is a new challenge, unique to this era. Before we are able to separate out a factual statement from a lie, we have to know what “truth” is, how to recognize and evaluate it, and how to store and share it with others.
Does truth depend on what you already believe? Is it relative, or absolute? What is truth?
Related questions: How do you know who to trust? When is a lie justified? How much of our thoughts are our own? What is necessary to change your mind? When is doubt helpful? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?
Emotion can be good; emotion can be bad.
Being emotional is what makes life worth living. The happiness you feel in the presence of a loved one. The satisfaction of a job well done. The beauty of nature. The awe-inspiring stars on a clear night.
All of these experiences are dependent on emotion. You can be inspired, feel joy, suffer from heartache. Without feelings, life would be dull and uninteresting.
And yet, emotion can also lead us astray. Being passionate can blind you to a necessary choice. Grief can overcome you and lead to depression. Extreme feelings can make you easier to manipulate.
It’s not about “good” feelings, like love and joy, vs “bad” feelings, like anger and fear. You will experience negative emotions over the course of your life. It is not practical to pretend they don’t exist. Negative or bad emotions are just as much of a fully-realized emotional life as positive ones are.
No, the real trade-off is between emotion and logic. Logic might help make better decisions, but feelings give flavor to existence. There must be a middle ground. It is important to balance some emotion with some reason.
But how can you find the right balance? How can you make the most of your feelings and fully live your life, but also make rational decisions and think analytically?
What is the right amount of emotion? How can you tell if you have too much? What mechanisms allow you to increase or decrease the emotion you feel every day?
Related questions: Why does music evoke emotion? What is necessary to change your mind? What do you do that you shouldn’t? How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better?