The structure of open-mindedness

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):191-213 (2011)
Abstract
Open-mindedness enjoys widespread recognition as an intellectual virtue. This is evident, among other ways, in its appearance on nearly every list of intellectual virtues in the virtue epistemology literature.1 Despite its popularity, however, it is far from clear what exactly open-mindedness amounts to: that is, what sort of intellectual orientation or activity is essential to it. In fact, there are ways of thinking about open-mindedness that cast serious doubt on its status as an intellectual virtue. Consider the following description, from Robert Roberts and Jay Wood (2007), of a ‘bright college freshman, taking an introductory course in philosophy.’ Given this student’s ‘taste for ideas,’ she ..
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