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Integrity and Open-mindedness – Chris Ranalli
Some disagreements press on commitments that are central to who we are or what we care most about. This raises a puzzle. One the one hand, we should be open-minded, and consider seriously these rival positions. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be unprincipled, willing to compromise ourselves for the sake of civility, for example. How can we be open-minded without risking who are, then? Likewise, how can we be true to ourselves without risking dogmatism and inflexibility? Some say that there is a virtuous mean between too much dogmatism and too little. I argue that the virtue of integrity can sometimes lead one to unshakeable belief without compromising one’s intellectual virtue. Whether one’s dogmatism is too much or too little depends on the case. In turn, I’ll explore three kinds of cases: the advocate, who is highly confident of their favored theoretical position; the fundamentalist, who is zealously confident of a religious or religious-like position; and the faithful, who is uncompromising in their commitment to a position because of its personal ‘meaning-making’ role in their life.
Professor Ranalli (VU Amsterdam) is part of the ERC Extreme Beliefs research group. He is currently working on topics like conspiracy theories, indoctrination, and echo chambers.
He is also a research affiliate within the DFG Thinking about Suspension network. He is exploring the relationship between suspension of judgment and our personal and ethical commitments.
His research is primarily in epistemology. He also has interests in ethics and philosophy of mind.