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The Limitations of the Open Mind$
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Jeremy Fantl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198807957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198807957.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

Against Open-Minded Engagement (for Some People)

Against Open-Minded Engagement (for Some People)

(p.128) 6 Against Open-Minded Engagement (for Some People)
The Limitations of the Open Mind

Jeremy Fantl

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that you shouldn’t engage open-mindedly with salient counterarguments in some standard situations—those standard situations in which you know that the counterarguments are misleading. This conclusion relies on a general principle: you should do the things that what you know is a decisive reason to do (a principle that has been used to argue for so-called “pragmatic encroachment” in epistemology). That a counterargument is misleading is a decisive reason, in standard situations, to be unwilling to reduce your confidence in response to the counterargument. Therefore, if you know that the counterargument is misleading—which you sometimes do—you should do exactly that. You should be unwilling to reduce your confidence in response to the counterargument and, therefore, you should be closed-minded toward it.

Keywords:   open-mindedness, pragmatic encroachment, public engagement, counterarguments, closed-mindedness

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