Project Leader: Dr. Justin L. Barrett
Funded by: The John Templeton Foundation at $5.3 million dollars
Project dates: July 1, 2012 – June 20, 2015
Although humility has received significant attention, its distinctively intellectual side needs much further exploration. Intellectual humility concerns how we come to hold and retain our beliefs. It is constituted by a state of openness to new ideas, receptivity to new sources of evidence and the implications of that evidence, and willingness to revise even deeply held beliefs in the face of compelling reasons.
This project will:
- Support research on under-explored areas in psychology and evolution of intellectual humility / arrogance
- Foster critical engagement between the cognitive and evolutionary sides
- Digest the results of work in the field in order to advance its philosophical and theological significance
- Assess the relevance of the results to determine the impediments to intellectual humility, and to identify concrete strategies for overcoming these native tendencies
The first of three years has been completed on the project. To date, our research team has produced a White Paper as part of an initial volume of research. The entire body of research in intellectual humility developed under this grant by a body of leading scientists, as well as theologians, traditional philosophers, and experimental philosophers, is part of an effort to devote more attention to the subject of intellectual humility.
The project’s ultimate goal is to inform work in philosophy, theology, and clinical psychology in ways that will lead to greater openness, more civil discourse, and flourishing in human relationships.