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Intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility: an evolutionary-epistemological account

Intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility: an evolutionary-epistemological account
Intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility: an evolutionary-epistemological account
In this paper, we scrutinize intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility through an evolutionary lens. Our basic thesis might be summarized as follows. Human cognition, though it partly transcends the natural order, remains rooted in it: it is half-emancipated, half-embodied. In particular, it bears the lowly stamp of competitive dynamics that form part of the adaptive behavioral repertoire of all complex animals. Such dynamics, transmuted to the mental realm in human beings, help to explain, in psychological terms, why argumentation and ratiocination can be sometimes motivationally biased, but sometimes dispassionately truth-oriented too. Alongside furnishing our evolutionary epistemological account of intellectual humility, we embed the construct in a wider nomological net, and report some recent empirical findings illustrating the automaticity of the tendency towards intellectual arrogance. We conclude by considering the role spirituality and religion might play in either helpfully fostering intellectual humility or inadvertently fostering intellectual arrogance.
0091-6471
7-18
Gregg, Aiden P.
1b03bb58-b3a5-4852-a177-29e4f633b063
Mahadevan, Nikhila
6fdfa44a-a12b-447a-b6d6-be818c4f2d69
Gregg, Aiden P.
1b03bb58-b3a5-4852-a177-29e4f633b063
Mahadevan, Nikhila
6fdfa44a-a12b-447a-b6d6-be818c4f2d69

Gregg, Aiden P. and Mahadevan, Nikhila (2014) Intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility: an evolutionary-epistemological account. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 42, Spring Issue, 7-18.

Record type: Article

Abstract

In this paper, we scrutinize intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility through an evolutionary lens. Our basic thesis might be summarized as follows. Human cognition, though it partly transcends the natural order, remains rooted in it: it is half-emancipated, half-embodied. In particular, it bears the lowly stamp of competitive dynamics that form part of the adaptive behavioral repertoire of all complex animals. Such dynamics, transmuted to the mental realm in human beings, help to explain, in psychological terms, why argumentation and ratiocination can be sometimes motivationally biased, but sometimes dispassionately truth-oriented too. Alongside furnishing our evolutionary epistemological account of intellectual humility, we embed the construct in a wider nomological net, and report some recent empirical findings illustrating the automaticity of the tendency towards intellectual arrogance. We conclude by considering the role spirituality and religion might play in either helpfully fostering intellectual humility or inadvertently fostering intellectual arrogance.

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Published date: 2014
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 370235
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370235
ISSN: 0091-6471
PURE UUID: 06e67be8-22a8-4268-9335-2210b725443e

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Date deposited: 20 Oct 2014 09:34
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:52

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