Why care about intellectual humility? What is an intellectual virtue? How do we know who is intellectually humble? The nature of intellectual virtues is a topic of ancient interest. But contemporary philosophy has experienced unparalleled energy and concern for one particular virtue over the past 30 years: intellectual humility. Intellectual Humility: An Introduction to the Philosophy and Science draws on leading research to provide an engaging and up-to-date guide to understanding what it is and why it's important.
By using ten big questions to introduce the concept, this introduction presents a vibrant account of the ideas behind intellectual humility. Covering themes from philosophy, psychology, education, social science, and divinity, it addresses issues such as:
What human cognition tells us about intellectual virtues
The extent to which traits and dispositions are stable from birth or learned habits
How emotions affect our ability to be intellectually humble
The best way to handle disagreement
The impact intellectual humility has on religion or theological commitments
Written for students taking the University of Edinburgh's online course, this textbook is for anyone interested in finding out more about intellectual humility, how it can be developed and where it can be applied.
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About the Author
Ian M. Church is a Research Fellow in Philosophy at Saint Louis University, USA.
Peter L. Samuelson is Director of Research and Evaluation at the Thrive Foundation for Youth, USA.
Table of Contents
Part I: Theory
1. What Is Intellectual Humility? (And Why Should We Care?)
§1: Problems with the Current, Seminal Account of Intellectual Humility
§2: Folk Theories of Intellectual Humility
§3: The Doxastic Account of Intellectual Humility
§4: Addressing Some Objections
§5: Book Outline
2. What Is An Intellectual Virtue?
§1 Virtue Epistemology in General
§2: Ernest Sosa's Agent-Reliabilism
§3: Linda Zagzebski's Agent-responsibilism
§4: Alvin Plantinga's Proper Functionalist Agent-reliabilism
§5: Is Intellectual Humility an Intellectual Virtue?
Part II: Science
3. How Do We Know Who Is Intellectually Humble?
§1: The Problems and Promise of Measurement
§2: Issues of Scientific Measurement
§3: Existing Measures of Intellectual Humility
§4: Measuring Intellectual Humility in Context
4. How Do We Become Intellectually Humble?
§1: Nature versus Nurture
§2: Learning and Knowledge Acquisition in Children
§3: Epistemic Trust and the Development of Intellectual Humility
§4: Mindsets and the Development of Intellectual Humility
5. What Can Human Cognition Tell Us About Intellectual Humility?
§1: Virtue Epistemology Revisited
§2 Reliabilism: Heuristics and Biases
§3: Responsibilism: Motivation, Goals, and Values in Cognition
§4: Heuristics and Biases as Intellectual Arrogance
§5: Avoiding and Mitigating Biases with Intellectual Humility
6. Are Some People Born Humble?
§1: Intellectual Humility as a Character Trait
§2: Situational Determinants of Intellectual Humility
§3: Both Trait and Situation in Intellectual Humility
7. How Do Emotions Affect Our Ability To Be Intellectually Humble?
§1: Theories of Emotion and Cognition
§2: Emotional Regulation
§3: Emotion and Cognition in the face of disagreement
§4: Emotional Style and Intellectual Humility
Part III: Applications
8. Can You Believe What You Hear?
§1: The Anatomy of Testimony
§2: Intellectual Humility and How Testimony Can Go Wrong
§3: Is Testimonial Knowledge Epistemically Distinct?
9. How Should We Handle Disagreement?
§1: Easy Cases of Disagreement and Intellectual Humility
§2: Problematic Disagreement
§3 An Intellectually Humble Response to Intractable Disagreement
10. What Does Intellectual Humility Tell Us About Religion?
§1: Intellectually Humble Religious Dogmatism?
§2: The Blank Check to Evil Worry