Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Hey, somebody noticed me!

Over at Minute Particulars, I am taken to task for complaining here of my students' lack of intelligence. He thinks I probably should have complained of their lack of education, since the correlation between intelligence and good grammar is loose at best. I agree. I should have been more precise about what I mean, since the rest of my blog for that day was a complaint about incomprehensible grammar, not about not being able to "grasp many things from few."


However, as Aquinas might have said, intelligence can be spoken of in two ways: 1) the native ability to grasp many things from few, and 2) the virtue or state of character that refines (1). In both senses, I think one could say that the intelligence of the average college student is down. The native ability is down simply because more people go to college than in the past. The virtue of intelligence, able to be developed by training, is also down, and that can be attributed to failures in education.

Thanks to Minute Particulars for pointing out my lack of clarity. By the way, I still have an inappropriate attachment to hy-phens.

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