Intellectual Arrogance and Intellectual Humility: An Evolutionary-Epistemological Account

Volume
Volume 42
Issue
Spring 2014
Title
Intellectual Arrogance and Intellectual Humility: An Evolutionary-Epistemological Account
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.

Authors
Dr. A.P. Gregg and N. Mahadevan
Pages
7 - 18
Price
Add to Cart $5.00