Open for Debate

Epicurus on Losing Arguments

Posted on 11 March 2019 by Scott F. Aikin

Epicurus’s Vatican Saying #74 runs: “the one who loses in a philosophical dispute gains more the more he learns.”  I remember reading that line as an undergraduate, thinking it curious and perhaps a bit perverse.  How would Epicurus himself apply this to his own views, after critique from the likes of Stoic, Skeptic, or Christian
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Empathetic Understanding in Politics

Posted on 25 February 2019 by Michael Hannon

What is the goal of political conversation? Why should we deliberate with others about politics? Democratic deliberation is said to benefit people in many ways. For example, it has been touted as a way to produce civic engagement, increase faith in democratic institutions, encourage a willingness to compromise, and make people better citizens overall.
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Intellectual humility: from views of knowledge to views of people

Posted on 28 January 2019 by Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso

Researchers have taken a number of approaches to defining intellectual humility. I tend to view intellectual humility as rooted in a healthy independence between intellect and ego (Krumrei-Mancuso & Rouse, 2016). What I mean by this is that intellectual humility involves accepting one’s intellectual fallibility without experiencing it as a threat to one’s sense of
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Bullshit You Can Believe In

Posted on 5 November 2018 by Jonathan Webber

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. So begins Harry Frankfurt’s rightly celebrated essay On Bullshit, raising the important questions of precisely what bullshit is and why there is so much of it around. That sentence is particularly poignant now, three decades after it was first
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Why even bother with political debate?

Posted on 8 October 2018 by Karen Stohr

Debates about politics, whether in public forums or in private conversations, often seem to go nowhere. This is particularly true when the participants have diametrically opposed perspectives on how the world works and how it should work. Even when people manage to stay civil, which of course is not always the case, debating doesn’t usually
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Teaching Intellectual Humility

Posted on 24 September 2018 by Brian Robinson

We have good reason for wanting to teach and instill the virtue of intellectual humility. Those with this virtue are more cooperative, want to learn more, are more forgiving, are more willing to admit mistakes, and even make better leaders. But how do we encourage people to become intellectually humble?
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Identifying Core Psychological Processes with Neuroimaging Experiments to Improve Education in Practice

Posted on 27 August 2018 by Hyemin Han

Following my previous post for this blog, in this post I discuss why examining psychological processes related to teaching and learning can provide useful insights about how to improve education. Many educators might think that they have their own tacit knowledge about how to make their classroom activities effective and that their knowledge is well grounded
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Improving moral education through neuroscience

Posted on 13 August 2018 by Hyemin Han

Thanks to the rapid development of science and technology, scholars interested in morality now have more sophisticated ways to do their research. To date, relatively simple methods, such as the interview and self-report questionnaire, have been available to study morality among human subjects. However, achievements in the field of neuroscience may provide researchers with more
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Speak Up!: Inquiry and Expressing Disagreement

Posted on 16 July 2018 by Casey Rebecca Johnson

In 1994, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray published The Bell Curve.  In it, the authors notoriously argued that the difference in performance on IQ tests between members of different races is due to genetics rather than socialization.  They argued that the difference between African American average IQ scores and white American scores is caused, at
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Am I in an echo chamber?

Posted on 2 July 2018 by C. Thi Nguyen

Spend enough time tracking the liberal and conservative media worlds, and you’ll notice a certain symmetry in their accusations. Each side thinks that the other is living in an echo chamber. Each side thinks the other is blind to the truth because their informational community has been corrupted. The usual thought goes something like this:
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