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Intellectual Arrogance and Intellectual Humility: An Evolutionary-Epistemological Account

Gregg, Aiden P and Mahadevan, Nikhila (2014) 'Intellectual Arrogance and Intellectual Humility: An Evolutionary-Epistemological Account.' Journal of Psychology and Theology, 42 (1). 7 - 18. ISSN 0091-6471

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Abstract

In this paper, we scrutinize intellectual arrogance and intellectual humility through an evolutionary lens. Our basic thesis might be summarized as follows. Human cognition, though it partly transcends the natural order, remains rooted in it: it is half-emancipated, half-embodied. In particular, it bears the lowly stamp of competitive dynamics that form part of the adaptive behavioral repertoire of all complex animals. Such dynamics, transmuted to the mental realm in human beings, help to explain, in psychological terms, why argumentation and ratiocination can be sometimes motivationally biased, but sometimes dispassionately truth-oriented too. Alongside furnishing our evolutionary-epistemological account of intellectual humility, we embed the construct in a wider nomological net, and report some recent empirical findings illustrating the automaticity of the tendency towards intellectual arrogance. We conclude by considering the role spirituality and religion might play in either helpfully fostering intellectual humility or inadvertently fostering intellectual arrogance.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2020 13:53
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27602

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