Monday, December 7, 2015

A Call for Intellectual Humility

From Public Discourse:
We should want to be questioned by others, the way Socrates and his compatriots questioned one another repeatedly—about the strength of our arguments, about the ways in which we are using our words, and about our presuppositions. There is no doubt that “such waltzing is not easy,” to borrow a line from the poet Theodore Roethke. It can only be achieved by instilling in our students a love of the truth and the intellectual humility necessary for fruitful argument.

We are all limited. We all have presuppositions, many of them unexamined. And we can rarely predict the full scope of the consequences any of our proposals will have. This is why engaging with others is not only helpful, it is essential. And yet, to engage with others fruitfully, we cannot begin by dismissing them as unworthy of our rational attention. (Read more.)

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