Research Workshop: "Two Arguments for the Relationality of Intellectual Humility"

Shawn Wang (UCSD)

Friday, February 19, 2021 (12:10-2:00 PM)



What is it to be an intellectually humble person? Traditional accounts answer that intellectual humility concerns underestimation of one’s self-worth, low concern of one’s epistemic status, or owning one’s intellectual limitations. By contrast, Woodcock (2008) and Dalmiya (2016) have defended what I will call the “relationality thesis”: intellectual humility has a social or relational dimension, concerning not just one’s attitudes and dispositions about oneself, but also one’s attitudes and dispositions about other epistemic agents. This paper offers two novel arguments for the relationality thesis: (1) an argument from the claim that intellectually humble people respect other epistemic agents, and (2) an argument from the phenomenon that intellectually humble people tend to learn from both their epistemic superiors and their epistemic inferiors. I conclude that intellectual humility is a relational virtue: it requires proper understanding and proper care about the intellectual capacities, accomplishments, and struggles of other epistemic agents in one’s social community.


Shawn Tinghao Wang is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, San Diego. His primary research interests are Ethics and Moral Psychology. He has also done work and has continuing interests in Epistemology, Metaphilosophy, and Experimental Philosophy. Before coming to UCSD, he received a M.Phil. at Lingnan University in Hong Kong and a B.A. at Renmin University of China in Beijing.



All Research workshops will be held via Zoom for the 2020-2021 school year. Zoom links are available on the Philosophy Major and Minor Canvas site.


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