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Intellectual Virtue & Civil Discourse Icon

Intellectual Virtue & Civil Discourse

2014-2015 Research Theme: Intellectual Virtue & Civil Discourse (sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation)

What is intellectual virtue?

What is the nature of intellectual virtue? How should we characterize an intellectually virtuous mind?

How do intellectual virtues make public discourse more civil?

Uncivil discourse is rampant. As a society, we’re failing to communicate about the dearest, toughest, most sacred, most pressing matters of life and culture. Whether it's interpersonal relationships, marriage, local communities, churches, or the national stage, our conversations are often unconstructive and divisive. Can intellectual virtue improve our discourse?

How do we acquire intellectual virtue?

What are the main pedagogical methods, intentional practices and public policy prescriptions that can aid in the acquisition of intellectual virtue?

How can we disagree and get along?

What if we could use disagreement as a tool to improve public discourse? How might we become better "disagreers"? What intellectual virtues are operative in managing arguments, debates, and our fierce convictions?

What is the nature and role of intellectual virtues?

Open-mindedness, Intellectual Humility, Curiosity, Carefulness, Tenacity, Perseverance... what is the nature of each of these particular virtues? What role does each play in forming virtuous intellectual character? And how might each of these contribute to civility in public discourse?

How can intellectual virtues facilitate and improve education?

How can intellectual virtues help people teach and learn? How might educational policy and practices be improved by focusing on intellectual virtues?

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