Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Can we get better at finding the truth about reality (i.e., the world in which we live)? I think so. "One of the ways that we can increase the chances of forming true beliefs and arriving at knowledge is by pursuing intellectual virtues. An intellectual virtue is “a characteristic of a person who acts in a praiseworthy manner in the process of forming beliefs.”
For example, Beilby and Clark describe the intellectual virtues of honesty and courage: “Being intellectually honest means making a fair appraisal of the evidence at hand, dedicating effort to reach valid conclusions, admitting personal biases that affect beliefs, and seeking to reduce those biases. In an intellectual context, courage involves, among other things, being willing to take the minority position when the evidence points in that direction. It also means investigating personally held beliefs with rigor.” These do not happen by accident, they are the result of forming healthy intellectual habits over time."
This was taken from my book Welcome to College: A Christ-follower's Guide for the Journey, the chapter, "can we know anything at all?"