Personally, I've always viewed expertise/competence in a subject area as mostly a reflection of hard work and passion.
It would be a bit reductionistic to say that social conditions/ the individual's developed ability to grasp certain concepts/etc. don't come into play at all but I've never believed or wanted to complacently come to a conclusion that we're just the way we are.
I think part of it is my interest in Neuroscience, in which you learn that your brain is malleable, meaning that everything is what you make of it. I think that's a prevalent concept in existentialist philosophy too; existence precedes essence. What I'm trying to say is that it's a widespread concept.
What do you guys think?
I'm only asking cause I had a conversation with another INTJ and he said that he initially really liked a subject but that he lost interest in it because he didn't do that well in it. He then egotistically asked me if I was 'genuinely' interested in the subject because he has trouble understanding how anyone can possibly like something that he just doesn't think he's 'naturally' good at. I personally think that at a high school level at least, it's mostly 90% hard work, so the fact that he just came to that conclusion in a way sort of demonstrated a lot about his character to me. I thought that maybe I was judging him too harshly so I asked other people for what they thought and some agreed that he was being a bit selfish in saying that/turning away from failure while some say that he justified himself fairly reasonably. I wanted to know what you guys think.