Journal of Scottish Philosophy 19 (3):185–201 (2021)

Manuel Fasko
University of Basel
The aims of this paper are twofold. First, I offer a new insight into Shepherd’s theory of mind by demonstrating that she distinguishes a threefold ‘Variety of Intellect’, that is, three kinds of minds grouped according to their cognitive limitations. Following Shepherd, I call them (i) minds afflicted with idiocy, (ii) inferior understandings, and (iii) sound understandings. Second, I show how Shepherd’s distinction informs her theory of education. While Shepherd claims that her views serve to improve educational practices, she does not explain how her threefold ‘Variety of intellect’ does so. I argue that Shepherd’s distinction contributes to her aim by providing pedagogues with a more comprehensive grasp of the various cognitive limitations of the people in their care. This allows the former to adjust their expectations and to provide need-oriented guidance.
Keywords Shepherd  education   sound understanding, inferior understanding, idiocy  Shepherd, mind, education, sound understanding, inferior understanding, idiocy
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