Intellectual humility can be understood as involving the owning of one’s cognitive limitations, a healthy recognition of one’s intellectual debts to others, and low concern for intellectual domination and certain kinds of social status. It is closely allied with traits such as open-mindedness, a sense of one’s fallibility, and being responsive to reasons. Philosophers from Locke to Rawls have seen these traits as being crucial to the kind of meaningful public deliberation that we associate with democracy. Such deliberation is rational: it responds to reasons, not force or manipulation.

For a detailed but accessible overview of the literature pertaining to intellectual humility in public discourse you can read our literature review below.

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Oxford Bibliographies – online annotated literature review