Up to now, although various kinds of skills, knowledge, and capabilities have been discussed, little has been said about abilities in general. No eff ort has been made to specify what is meant by that word, or to enquire into the actual nature of abilities and the form they take. We remedy this in the present chapter. It takes a broad look at human abilities and raises a number of questions about them. We ask, for instance:

● What are abilities? ● How fixed are they? ● To what extent do different abilities influence one another? ● Do a person’s specific capacities depend on an underlying general ability?