How to be smart without thinking

April 23, 2007

I am reading Creative Management and Development (edited by Jane Henry) right now and loved this quote from Guy Claxton’s paper Beyond Cleverness: How to be smart without thinking (p. 47):

There is a stupid rumour going around that intelligence is essentially rational, and that hard problems are invariably best tackled as explicitly, clearly, logically and articulately as possible. It’s not true…logical clarity is one form of intelligence, but to assume that it is always the best, and the more of it the better, is as daft as to say that running is always the best way of getting aound, or a screwdriver is always the best tool. The rumour is stupid because it makes you less intelligent, mistaking one useful faculty of mind for the whole repertoire of useful mind states and modes. People who are good at being articulate and analytical, but who confuse this with being all-round intelligent are, we might say, ‘clever’ – but clever is not the same as smart.

2 People reacted on this

  1. I hadn’t come across Claxton before but I’ll certainly be looking out for his books – the article is really brilliant at posing questions about the fact vs feeling debate and he does it so eloquently. Thanks for the heads up about that book.

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