Origins of cognitive inequality

Authors: Oseledchik M.B. Published: 23.05.2023
Published in issue: #3(101)/2023  
DOI: 10.18698/2306-8477-2023-3-850  
Category: The Humanities in Technical University | Chapter: Philosophy Science  
Keywords: cognitive inequality, social inequality, inclinations, abilities, human brain, cognitive functioning, individual, cognitive matrix

The paper considers the problem of cognitive inequality. Cognitive inequality between individuals initially reigns in the world, it is caused by a system of complexly interacting genetic-physiological and historical socio-cultural reasons. Main characteristics of cognitive inequality are presented. Cognitive inequality is always individual and manifests itself in the different productivity, quality and reliability of the cognitive functioning of a particular individual as an integral synergistic derivative of a set of his functional abilities. Cognitive inequality appears in life of any society closely intertwining and co-evolving with the social inequality. Cognitive functioning of a particular individual determines the structure of his actions in the external world and their success level forming the basis of the individual’s personal competitiveness in comparison with the other members of his society. Historical manifestations of the cognitive inequality are studied. In primitive cultures, cognitive inequality was not as pronounced as in the developed civilizations due to the property institution underdevelopment. With the society transition to settled life, property inequality almost automatically increases leading to social stratification. The consequence of such social stratification is the cognitive inequality. The cognitive functioning of an individual is largely determined by the well-being of an individual and his family and, accordingly, his lifestyle, nutrition, health status, presence or absence of harmful habits, upbringing, training and education that the family members were able to provide him. It is concluded that from the historical point of view, cognitive inequality between individuals became to a large extent the basis for some of them to achieve a higher social status with all the advantages inherent in it. Thus, cognitive inequality became one of the reasons for the emerging social inequality, and social inequality, in turn, became one of the bases in reproducing cognitive inequality between the individuals.

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