Open-Mindedness as a Critical Virtue

Topoi 35 (2):403-411 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper proposes to examine Daniel Cohen’s recent attempt to apply virtues to argumentation theory, with special attention given to his explication of how open-mindedness can be regarded as an argumentational or critical virtue. It is argued that his analysis involves a contentious claim about open-mindedness as an epistemic virtue, which generates a tension for agents who are simultaneously both an arguer and a knower (or who strive to be both). I contend that this tension can be eased or resolved by clarifying the nature of open-mindedness and by construing open-mindedness in terms of its function. Specifically, a willingness to take a novel viewpoint seriously is sufficient for making open-mindedness both an epistemic and a critical virtue.

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Jack M. C. Kwong
Appalachian State University

References found in this work

Making it Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.
"Recent Work in Virtue Epistemology".Guy Axtell - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1):1--27.
Virtue in argument.Andrew Aberdein - 2010 - Argumentation 24 (2):165-179.

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