On The Incompatibility of Faith and Intellectual Humility

In Gregory E. Trickett & J. R. Gilhooly (eds.), Open-mindedness in Philosophy of Religion. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars. pp. 121-139 (2019)
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Although the relationship between faith and intellectual humility has yet to be specifically addressed in the philosophical literature, there are reasons to believe that they are at least in some sense incompatible, especially when judging from pre-theoretical intuitions. In this paper I attempt to specify and explicate this incompatibility, which is found in specific conflicting epistemic attitudes they each respectively invite. I first suggest general definitions of both faith and intellectual humility (understood as intellectual virtues), building off current proposals in the literature, in an attempt to portray both in as broad and uncontroversial a manner as feasible. I then move to arguing how this prima facie incompatibility aligns with these understandings of faith and intellectual humility, and illustrate how this incompatibility is even clearer on one recent theory. I close by considering one avenue of response for those who want to maintain that, while conflicting in these ways, intellectual humility and faith can be simultaneously virtuous.
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First archival date: 2019-10-29
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