Intellectual Humility and Incentivized Belief
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Despite disagreement about what is fundamental or necessary to intellectual humility, there is broad agreement that intellectual humility will bear on the higher-order epistemic attitudes one takes towards one’s beliefs (and other doxastic attitudes). Intellectually humble people tend not to under- or overstate the epistemic strength of their doxastic attitudes. This article shows how incentivized beliefs—beliefs that are held partly for pragmatic reasons—present a test case for intellectual humility. Intellectually humble persons will adopt ambivalent higher-order epistemic attitudes towards their incentivized beliefs. This is important for institutions that incentivize belief with material or social rewards, such as religious institutions that require orthodoxy for membership. The article argues that such institutions cannot simultaneously incentivize orthodox belief and enjoin conviction about such beliefs, unless they are willing to reject intellectual humility as a virtue.
Intellectual humility; Evidentialism
Journal of Psychology and Theology
DOI of Published Version
Dunnington, Kent, "Intellectual Humility and Incentivized Belief" (2018). Faculty Articles & Research. 492.