On Being Intelligent by Ashley Montagu

By Ashley Montagu

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Although subjective experience is radically individualized and idiosyncratic, subjectivity further unfolds within universal dialectical patterns – as subjective universality (not as predetermined, reductive mechanisms but, rather, as purposeful contextual operations) – that lend actuality, structure, and coherence to lived reality. 4a 25 all forms of psychic reality are dialectically mediated, interdependent, and spatiotemporally occupied. Opposition is ubiquitous to psychic reality and operative within all subjective and intersubjective experience.

Essence is neither fixed nor static, neither inert nor predetermined; rather, it is a spontaneous motional flux and trajectory of dynamic pattern lending increasing order, organization, and zeal to psychic development. As process, essence must appear in order for any psychic event to be made actual. Process is teleonomically constituted and teleologically driven. Process as teleonomy is the orienting regulatory, lawful (causal), self-organizing capacities directing psychic governance, which are formal in essence and impersonal in nature.

Before the ego encounters the sensuous world, the ego’s object is the natural soul itself, what the ego was but no longer is in its presently evolved shape. By confronting the natural soul and denying its suffocating restriction to the corporeal, the ego attains its own independence, no longer belonging to the soul but to itself. Because the ego thinks in a form that is now proper to it, its determinations are no longer of the soul but of consciousness. Hegel states that the goal of spirit as consciousness is to raise its selfcertainty to truth, that is, to pure self-consciousness (eg § 416), the culmination of absolute reason.

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