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Thread: Intellectual Humility

  1. #21
    Shapiro prefers Cruz over Trump. If that ain't humility, I dunno what is
    abstractionist

  2. #22
    Member Bking's Avatar
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    As a business owner slash service provider in both construction as well as the health and wellness industry (Yoga Instructor) i come across many people with seemingly different intellectual capacities and unconcious behavioural characteristics that define both their life as well as physical posture. I am not yet able to determine whether i enter into a sensory proprioceptive flow or a complete disconnect into my extroverted intuition but my input from them can be just as stimulating and rewarding regardless of the communication barriers that do appear to exist..
    Last edited by Bking; 12-24-2019 at 09:08 AM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilith View Post
    Have you heard about this? Do you “exercise” it? Have you met people that actually do?

    I’ve been following this topic recently. A question pops up in my head “how can I apply intellectual humility, especially at work, when I am expected to offer a definitive voice?

    Does having intellectual humility mean we need to tolerate opposing viewpoints? How do you draw the line?
    I suppose factors on drawing the line should be based on the importance of disturbing their bliss, the insidious malignancy of their beliefs on themselves or quite possibly, more importantly those around them.

    That is a good question though..

    Sometimes intellectual humility may call for complete "Grey Rock" mode, in which the object if winning becomes conflict avoidance, so in that particular case, the less you say, the smarter you are.

    At the work place is a tough thing to base an opinion on without more specific dynamics.

    Perhaps diving into the word "winning" as to avoid collectivly or unintentionally isolating it into its worse connotations; winning does not neccesarily mean dominating a moment in an overt and externally obvious manner. Winning a situation may be no more than positive affirmations towards someone you know is juggling critical changes in their life. Or sending them links to relevant information that will fill gaps in their knowledge without associating that knowledge to you.
    Temporally speaking, that shit will go a long way... man.

    That's a win.
    Last edited by Bking; 11-04-2019 at 04:58 AM.

  4. #24
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilith View Post
    Have you heard about this? Do you “exercise” it? Have you met people that actually do?

    I’ve been following this topic recently. A question pops up in my head “how can I apply intellectual humility, especially at work, when I am expected to offer a definitive voice?

    Does having intellectual humility mean we need to tolerate opposing viewpoints? How do you draw the line?
    Obviously intellectual humility [IH] is going to apply more to "soft" issues like politics (where opinion counts for a lot), rather than "hard" issues which are more about facts and logic. There are a lot of "soft" issues in the business world, such as how best to address people-related issues (clients, employees, social issues, etc.), so I can imagine that IH is worth cultivating in the business world. Though I think it has been addressed previously in other guises such as "emotional intelligence," etc.

    Anyway, the Wikipedia article on the subject said, "Prima facie, humility is the virtuous mean between arrogance, on the one hand, and self depreciation or diffidence on the other." IOW, that particular Wiki excerpt sets up a duality with arrogance at one extreme and self-depreciation at the other extreme, with IH as the desirable middle ground.

    I've seen the same thing done in a similar manner with aggressiveness at one extreme and passiveness at the other, with assertiveness as the desirable middle ground. In this latter example, assertiveness is defined as the ability to express your own opinion while still being open to opposing views. The assertive person can not only state his own position well; he can also state his opponent's position well and fairly, perhaps even better than his opponent can.

    The idea is that the assertive person is more open to compromise or even actively seeks a win/win solution rather than seeking an aggressive win/lose or a passive lose/win position.

    So IH seems to me to be a restatement of this "assertiveness" argument: Be able to assert your own position and yet stay open to opposing ideas; and then perhaps seek a win/win solution of some kind (find some way to incorporate or at least credit the positives of the other guy's ideas) rather than fighting for a zero-sum win/lose or lose/win solution. As Wiki says on the subject of IH, "Church and Samuelson further propose that by being open to the viewpoint of others, one positions oneself for growth and learning."

    Again, this stuff works best on "soft" issues, where there isn't necessarily one right answer, IOW where arguments tend to be about who is "more right." On those issues, there's a lot of room for compromise and for seeking out win/win solutions if you can set that as your goal.

  5. #25
    unbeknownst Lilith's Avatar
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    Thanks for your responses, everyone.

    Again, this stuff works best on "soft" issues, where there isn't necessarily one right answer, IOW where arguments tend to be about who is "more right." On those issues, there's a lot of room for compromise and for seeking out win/win solutions if you can set that as your goal.
    Perhaps. But even theories get debunked and scientific studies get updated and revised. How sure are you* that you can depend on the knowledge and expertise you have acquired?



    *You = plural

  6. #26
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilith View Post
    Thanks for your responses, everyone.


    Perhaps. But even theories get debunked and scientific studies get updated and revised. How sure are you* that you can depend on the knowledge and expertise you have acquired?



    *You = plural
    I know that your question isn't specifically addressed to me. But just to respond:

    In my earlier post I was suggesting that some arguments are more prone to (or are better addressed by) compromise and win/win scenarios than others. For example, in the workplace there's less need to fuss about compromises and win/win situations and all that stuff if the argument is about a "hard" issue and comes down to one party being demonstrably wrong on their facts or logic. In such cases, you just refer the question to the appropriate expert.

    But of course you're right in the sense that anyone can get their facts wrong. We're all fallible. So yeah, in that context we should try not be one of those characters who insists that they are always right and fights every issue to the death even when they are clearly in the wrong. We should all be amenable to correction when it's justified.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
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    I don't know what it is, I never heard of it, but it sounds like some kind of inclusive bullshit and for what? so we can have some more derps sit at the big table on strategic direction? [rhetorical question]
    It sounds like 'none of us is as bad as all of us', 'walking at the pace of the slowest person' type wrong-think for the sake of 'inclusivity' as its own merit.

    FWIW, I've always tried to be polite and humble if I happen to know a lot about something and someone starts to talk about that thing at a beginner to intermediate level. I've done it myself, as the recipient, it's certainly less awkward if the person doesn't even smile, but explains that they're a subject matter expert who goes on to give an irrefutable expert opinion, or overview. I consider it integrity. Help people up, don't push them down.

    I read the Wikipedia page on this topic and it looks like it considers the "virtuous man" to be less likely to speak up when encountering incorrect information. This to me, seems to be in contrast to what I describe above. So I disagree with this...thing

    It's potentially more humble to let someone know that they're echoing falsehoods, or incorrect opinions based on disinformation and may be digging themselves deeper into a hole, earlier on in my belief. Else you might be left in a situation that I think we've all been in at some point, where you wonder why the person let you keep repeating incorrect, or misguided information, or decision based opinions as true and right, when you find they knew way more, or had first hand experience of a given topic, or situation, or points of fact.

  8. #28
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limes View Post
    [snipped...]I read the Wikipedia page on this topic and it looks like it considers the "virtuous man" to be less likely to speak up when encountering incorrect information. This to me, seems to be in contrast to what I describe above. So I disagree with this...thing [...snipped]
    I agree that the definition of intellectual humility [IH] provided at the Wikipedia page is pretty awful. The first part in particular is opaque to the point of being almost unreadable.

    Lilith supplied another link on IH elsewhere in the thread which is much clearer about what researchers are looking for when they test for IH. It's not so much about how you treat your opponent; instead the focus is on your own openness to new ideas: Being willing to consider things from other people's perspectives, being undogmatic, tolerating ambiguity, etc. Here's the link again: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28903672

    When looked at in that light (openness to new ideas), I don't really think there's all that much that is novel in the concept of IH. There are lots of previous fads in the business world on the positives of win/win thinking over win/lose thinking, so called "abundance mentality" over zero-sum mentality, etc. IH seems to fall in what that sort of idea set.

    Of course, that still leaves open the question of:
    1) How you actually treat opponents in debate: How much courtesy do you show the other guy's point of view vs. how much you assert your own point of view; and
    2) What are the limits on IH: On the one hand, it's obvious that you don't want to be so dogmatic and close-minded that you're simply not open to new ideas and opinions. On the other hand, you don't want to be so open-minded that your brains fall out on the floor and you become willing to accommodate any silliness and falsehood.
    Last edited by RDF; 11-04-2019 at 04:09 PM.

  9. #29
    Member Bking's Avatar
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    If anyone is looking for a good course on virtue i would recommend listening to "The Great Ideas Of Philosophy" 2nd edition by Dr. Daniel Robinson. Its one of the Great Courses on Audible. If you anyone doesn't have an account or money i can gift it to you as i have extra credits, if you provide an email address.

  10. #30
    unbeknownst Lilith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDF View Post
    I know that your question isn't specifically addressed to me. But just to respond:

    In my earlier post I was suggesting that some arguments are more prone to (or are better addressed by) compromise and win/win scenarios than others. For example, in the workplace there's less need to fuss about compromises and win/win situations and all that stuff if the argument is about a "hard" issue and comes down to one party being demonstrably wrong on their facts or logic. In such cases, you just refer the question to the appropriate expert.

    But of course you're right in the sense that anyone can get their facts wrong. We're all fallible. So yeah, in that context we should try not be one of those characters who insists that they are always right and fights every issue to the death even when they are clearly in the wrong. We should all be amenable to correction when it's justified.
    I agree with your points. I don't have anything to refute.



    This topic interests me because it's like a jumping point of how I react in times when my knowledge or opinion is questioned. I'd also like to see if anyone has a similar realization. You can say intellectual humility is a moral virtue. Courage is a virtue. So is honesty. It's the median point between two vices arrogance/stubbornness (excess) and gullibility (defect).

    Mancuso and Rouse (2016, Pepperdine University) defined IH as a nonthreatening awareness of one's intellectual fallibility which results to four things:
    - respecting other viewpoints
    - not being intellectually overconfident
    - separating your ego from your intellect
    - being willing to review your important viewpoints

    So in other words, to be truly intellectually humble, you need all these things.

    Like honesty, I think we can be intellectually humble to some degree. But it does require "self-awareness" and the acceptance that we do not know everything. I'd say it's easier for "intellectuals" to get suck into the vortex of "know-it-all-ness" especially xxTJs (!!). When are "self-aware", we listen more to why we think/feel things are incorrect, unacceptable or wrong. Thus, to some degree, lessen the likelihood of forming cognitive biases.

    How often do you find yourself thinking "this person is going to say another stupid thing" because in the past they did say or do something stupid? Are they always *that* stupid? How often do you find yourself reading someone's post and looking it through the lens of political identity? I do. A lot.

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