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Intellectual VirtuesAn Essay in Regulative Epistemology$
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Robert C. Roberts and W. Jay Wood

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283675.001.0001

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(p.236) 9 Humility
Intellectual Virtues

Robert C. Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

W. Jay Wood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Humility as an intellectual virtue is the absence of intellectual vanity, arrogance, and domination (among other vices of the same family). As such, intellectual humility is a low level of concern to be well regarded by other people for one's intellectual accomplishments or prowess, where the concern for others' good opinion is swamped in a higher concern for intellectual goods. Humility is a disposition not to ‘infer’ some illicit entitlement from one's (perhaps genuine) intellectual superiority. It is a low level of concern to have the personal importance that derives from power or influence over others' minds. The concerns of which humility is the relative absence are extraneous to the pursuit of intellectual goods, and so may erect various stumbling blocks to intellectual success.

Keywords:   Aristotle, arrogance, domination, entitlement, Galileo, vanity

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