Language, Culture and Cognition: A Collection of Studies in by Lillian M. Malavé, Georges Duquette

By Lillian M. Malavé, Georges Duquette

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Ah! That's better. ' To the extent that such propositional complexities (regardless of what molecular or other form they may take) are involved in the amoeba's behaviour, then, it might be said that the behaviour in question is intelligent. Moreover, and more to the point of this discussion, this elaboration of the amoeba's behaviour may help, I think, to illustrate the sort of thing that intelligence is. While pondering these ideas some years ago, I was mildly surprised Page 13 to learn that the famed author of the precursor of our modern intelligence tests, the biologist-turned-psychologist, Alfred Binet, had discussed much the same constellation of problems before the turn of the century, and had come to somewhat the same conclusion about the behaviour of single-celled organisms as I am suggesting for consideration herethat they demonstrate a surprising degree of propositionally complex intelligence.

That's better. ' To the extent that such propositional complexities (regardless of what molecular or other form they may take) are involved in the amoeba's behaviour, then, it might be said that the behaviour in question is intelligent. Moreover, and more to the point of this discussion, this elaboration of the amoeba's behaviour may help, I think, to illustrate the sort of thing that intelligence is. While pondering these ideas some years ago, I was mildly surprised Page 13 to learn that the famed author of the precursor of our modern intelligence tests, the biologist-turned-psychologist, Alfred Binet, had discussed much the same constellation of problems before the turn of the century, and had come to somewhat the same conclusion about the behaviour of single-celled organisms as I am suggesting for consideration herethat they demonstrate a surprising degree of propositionally complex intelligence.

Or, how do cells know their proper functions when in fact so many functions are metabolically and otherwise differentiated? In a popular article, Lewis Wolpert some years ago noted that there had already been widespread speculation among microbiologists and embryologists about whether 'cells have complex conversations with each other during development' (1978: 157). Regardless of the answer to that question, he concluded that 'a large number of experiments indicate that most patterns arise as the result of cell-to-cell interaction' (p.

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