David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Sophia 52 (1):143-158 (2013)
To be open-minded is to be willing to revise or entertain doubts about one’s beliefs. Commonly regarded as an intellectual virtue, and often too as a moral virtue, open-mindedness is a trait that is generally desirable for a person to have. However, in the major theistic traditions, absolute commitment to one’s religious beliefs is regarded as virtuous or ideal. But one cannot be completely resolved about an issue and at the same time be open to revising one’s beliefs about it. It appears, then, that religious devotion is inconsistent with open-mindedness. The more religiously devout a person is, the more firmly she will hold to her convictions. And the stronger her belief commitments, the less open-minded she will be regarding these beliefs. So there appears to be a paradox here, where from the standpoint of religious devotion, it is virtuous to display an intellectual vice, namely closed-mindedness. I discuss this problem and explore some potential routes of escape from the paradox.
|Keywords||Open-minded Humility Virtue Devotion Descartes Kierkegaard|
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References found in this work BETA
Rene Descartes (2004/2002). Meditations on First Philosophy. Caravan Books.
Michael Polanyi (1958). Personal Knowledge. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
William James (1991). The Varieties of Religious Experience. Triumph Books.
Michael Polanyi (1967). The Tacit Dimension. London, Routledge & K. Paul.
Gabriele Taylor (1985). Pride, Shame, and Guilt: Emotions of Self-Assessment. Oxford University Press.
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