Open-mindedness in Three Dimensions

Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society 18 (1):44-59 (2009)
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In this programmatic essay, I approach the question "What is open-mindedness?" through three more specific questions, each designed to foreground a distinct dimension along which the analysis of open-mindedness might proceed: When is open-mindedness? What is not open-mindedness? and, Where is open-mindedness? The first question refers to the temporal dimension of open-mindedness, which I analyze in terms of Dewey’s distinction between recognition and perception and the psychoanalytic concept of disavowal. The second question refers to the dialectical dimension of open-mindedness, to what the many aspects of closed-mindedness reveal about open-mindedness. Here I recall Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean. The third question refers to the dimension of scale, asking what open- and closed-mindedness look like on the interpersonal and social levels. To bring out this third dimension, I draw on Jonathan Lear's reading of the Republic and psychoanalytic group dynamics theory. Through these three related inquiries I show the range of this central intellectual virtue and bring out its connections to two central, related features of the moral life: the need for integration and the need for openness to newness and complexity.



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Citations of this work

The Willingness to be Rationally Persuaded.Michael David Baumtrog - 2016 - Argumentation, Objectivity, and Bias: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA).

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References found in this work

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1997 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the good life. New York: Oxford University Press.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on Eudaimonia.J. L. Ackrill - 1980 - In Amélie Rorty (ed.), Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics. University of California Press. pp. 15-34.
Aristotle on eudaimonia.J. L. Ackrill - 1975 - London: Oxford University Press.
Moral Beliefs.Philippa Foot - 1959 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59:83 - 104.

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