What is intelligence and does it really exist?

What is intelligence?

One of the things that being Joey's dad has made me question is the way that we talk about intelligence.

I increasingly wonder whether the very idea of intelligence has been created by the educated to justify their privilege. 

It's clear that cognitive disabilities are a reality, from the severe learning disabilities that Joey has, right through to the mild dyslexia that is so common. 

But beyond these challenges, can you really say that person X is more intelligent than person Y without exploring their backgrounds and education. Obviously people have differently 'shaped' brains (I'm better at words than numbers, humanities than sciences), but it's striking the way that it's impossible to say which of my brother and two sisters, all of whom are high achievers, is the most 'intelligent'. What we have in common is good education and a background which encouraged us to think and achieve. 

When I raise this people will say, yes but there were 'thick' people at my posh school who never went to university, or there are people from underprivileged backgrounds who had glittering careers where their 'intelligence' carried them through. I'd argue that you need to look more carefully at the particular nature of their background before you come to those conclusions. And, like it or not, having a career in business requires as much 'intelligence' as being an Oxford don. And much as we may hate Donald Trump, it's as inaccurate to say he's 'stupid' as it is to call him a 'very stable genius'

Nurture, much more than nature. 

That'll set the (intelligent) cats among the pigeons