Monday, October 27, 2008

Spiritual Intelligence?

I picked up Howard Gardner's book outlining his theory of multiple intelligences, Frames of Mind, at the library yesterday and started reading it. I had enjoyed his review of the field of cognitive science, The Mind's New Science, and though I was skeptical about the idea of multiple intelligences, I thought it would be an interesting book, as it gives a review of previous theories of intelligence.

I got the 10th anniversary edition, which includes a new introduction. I was only a few pages in when I came across this bit:
Those interested in the evolution of the theory of multiple intelligences since 1983 often ask whether additional intelligences have been added--or original candidates deleted. The answer is that I have elected not to tamper for now with the original list, though I continue to think that some form of "spiritual intelligence" may well exist.

Ack. Spiritual intelligence?

His theory outlines the following intelligences:
  • linguistic intelligence
  • musical intelligence
  • logical-mathematical intelligence
  • spatial intelligence
  • bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
  • personal intelligences
As I said, I was already doubtful about the case for a theory that includes "bodily-kinesthetic intelligence", but I was willing to give it a chance. But what the heck could spiritual intelligence refer to? Gardner doesn't go into detail. He vaguely talks about having a viable model of oneself and being in touch with one's feelings. But wouldn't these fall under his personal intelligences?

Here's the Wikipedia article on spiritual intelligence. I'll leave it to you to decide whether you think it's hogwash.

1 comment:

Philip said...

I didn't make it past "spiritual capital". (