Is It Good to Be Open-Minded?

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):73-87 (2003)
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Abstract

Although open-mindedness is still widely regarded as an intellectual virtue and an aim of education, it is also commonly held that this attitude carries with it certain implications that ultimately threaten serious inquiry. In particular, open-mindedness is often thought (i) to encourage credulity, (ii) to discourage the formation of definite views, and (iii) to detract from the tenacious pursuit of an idea. These confusions turn up in the work of reputable philosophers and it is important to address them if cynicism about this ideal is to be avoided. Properly understood, open-mindedness is free from these unwelcome consequences, and it remains central to the task of education.

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