What Does it Mean to Have an Open MIND?

Open MIND (2015)


We decided to use our editors’ introduction to briefly address a difficult, somewhat deeper, and in some ways more classical problem: that of what genuine open mindedness really is and how it can contribute to the Mind Sciences. The material in the collection speaks for itself. Here, and in contrast to the vast collection that is Open MIND, we want to be concise. We want to point to the broader context of a particular way of thinking about the mind. And we want to propose an account of what open mindedness could mean in the context of the contemporary, interdisciplinary Mind Sciences. This variant of open mindedness is characterized by epistemic humility, intellectual honesty, and a new culture of charity. It also has a pragmatic dimension: open mindedness of this kind is research generating and fosters an environment of sincere and constructive interdisciplinary collaboration. And it is profoundly inspired by the classical ideals of philosophy as a pursuit of genuine insight and rational inquiry, the importance of a critical and in a certain sense non-judgmental attitude, and the deep relationship between wisdom and skepticism as an epistemic practice. Finally, and again very classically, open mindedness has an ethical dimension as well: it implies sensitivity to normative issues, including issues of an anthropological, sociocultural, and political kind. By bringing these different strands of ideas together and creating a bigger (and admittedly still sketchy) picture of what “open mindedness” might mean in the interdisciplinary Mind Sciences, we hope to start a conversation about how an open-minded attitude and a charitable culture of collaboration can be cultivated in the future. This is very much intended as an invitation to further think about and develop this topic. We hope our readers will join us in this endeavor. DOI: 10.15502/9783958571044 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.15502/9783958571044 ISBN: 9783958571044

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Author Profiles

Thomas Metzinger
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Jennifer Windt
Monash University

References found in this work

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2012 - Oxford University Press UK.
Consciousness Explained.Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):905-910.

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Citations of this work

Minimal Phenomenal Experience.Thomas Metzinger - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-44.
M-Autonomy.Thomas Metzinger - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (11-12):270-302.

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