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Post-Kantian European Philosophy Research Seminar Series
The speaker is Tobias Keiling - join us to celebrate Tobias’ inaugural talk at Warwick!
Talk: Gadamer on Openness as Epistemic Virtue
Abstract: This paper presents the discussion of open-mindedness in recent virtue epistemology to argue that it can be supplemented by a hermeneutical model. After introducing basic distinctions, I sketch the account of open-mindedness found in the work of Jason Baehr (2011) and Wayne Riggs (2010, 2015). I then zoom in on two problems in the recent debate: how to determine when open-mindedness is epistemically beneficial and how to construe its epistemic value. While Adam Carter and Emma Gordon (2014) argue that these problems are insurmountable for Baehr and Riggs, I outline the idea that their account can be modified in such a way as to avoid these problems. Specifically, Gadamer’s discussion of the structure of prejudice and the importance of openness for understanding in Truth and Method (1960) can be developed as an alternative hermeneutical model for understanding open-mindedness. The key idea is that the circular structure Carter and Gordon find at work in Baehr’s attempt to define open-mindedness represents a version of the hermeneutical circle rather than an infinite regress.