Is Open-Mindedness Conducive to Truth?

Synthese 194 (5) (2017)
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Open-mindedness is generally regarded as an intellectual virtue because its exercise reliably leads to truth. However, some theorists have argued that open-mindedness’s truth-conduciveness is highly contingent, pointing out that it is either not truth-conducive at all under certain scenarios or no better than dogmatism or credulity in others. Given such shaky ties to truth, it would appear that the status of open-mindedness as an intellectual virtue is in jeopardy. In this paper, I propose to defend open-mindedness against these challenges. In particular, I show that the challenges are ill-founded because they misconstrue the nature of open-mindedness and fail to consider the requisite conditions of its application. With a proper understanding of open-mindedness and of its requirements, it is clear that recourse to it is indeed truth-conducive



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Jack M. C. Kwong
Appalachian State University

Citations of this work

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