Humility: Having a consciousness of the limits of one's
knowledge, including a sensitivity to circumstances in which one's
native egocentrism is likely to function self-deceptively; sensitivity
to bias, prejudice and limitations of one's viewpoint. Intellectual
humility depends on recognizing that one should not claim more
than one actually knows. It does not imply spinelessness or submissiveness.
It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness, boastfulness,
or conceit, combined with insight into the logical foundations,
or lack of such foundations, of one's beliefs.
Courage: Having a consciousness of the need to face and
fairly address ideas, beliefs or viewpoints toward which we have
strong negative emotions and to which we have not given a serious
hearing. This courage is connected with the recognition that ideas
considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally justified
(in whole or in part) and that conclusions and beliefs inculcated
in us are sometimes false or misleading. To determine for ourselves
which is which, we must not passively and uncritically " accept"
what we have " learned." Intellectual courage comes into play
here, because inevitably we will come to see some truth in some
ideas considered dangerous and absurd, and distortion or falsity
in some ideas strongly held in our social group. We need courage
to be true to our own thinking in such circumstances. The penalties
for non-conformity can be severe.
Empathy: Having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively
put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand
them, which requires the consciousness of our egocentric tendency
to identify truth with our immediate perceptions of long-standing
thought or belief. This trait correlates with the ability to reconstruct
accurately the viewpoints and reasoning of others and to reason
from premises, assumptions, and ideas other than our own. This
trait also correlates with the willingness to remember occasions
when we were wrong in the past despite an intense conviction that
we were right, and with the ability to imagine our being similarly
deceived in a case-at-hand.
Integrity: Recognition of the need to be true to one's
own thinking; to be consistent in the intellectual standards one
applies; to hold one's self to the same rigorous standards of
evidence and proof to which one holds one's antagonists; to practice
what one advocates for others; and to honestly admit discrepancies
and inconsistencies in one's own thought and action.
Perseverance: Having a consciousness of the need to use
intellectual insights and truths in spite of difficulties, obstacles,
and frustrations; firm adherence to rational principles despite
the irrational opposition of others; a sense of the need to struggle
with confusion and unsettled questions over an extended period
of time to achieve deeper understanding or insight.
- Faith In Reason:
Confidence that, in the long run, one's own higher interests and
those of humankind at large will be best served by giving the
freest play to reason, by encouraging people to come to their
own conclusions by developing their own rational faculties; faith
that, with proper encouragement and cultivation, people can learn
to think for themselves, to form rational viewpoints, draw reasonable
conclusions, think coherently and logically, persuade each other
by reason and become reasonable persons, despite the deep-seated
obstacles in the native character of the human mind and in society
as we know it.
Having a consciousness of the need to treat all viewpoints alike,
without reference to one's own feelings or vested interests, or
the feelings or vested interests of one's friends, community or
nation; implies adherence to intellectual standards without reference
to one's own advantage or the advantage of one's group.