How to Know Who’s Trustworthy

17 October, 2021

Knotty problems call for sound advice. Use philosophy to find the intellectually dependable amid the frauds and egotists says T Ryan Byerly in this Psyche guide. In it he maps out five of the virtues of intellectually dependable people, and contrasts each of these with the vices of their undependable counterparts. Looking out for these signs of intellectual trustworthiness can help us do a better job, as we think through, together, the issues that matter to us.

We know we sometimes need the help of others to think about some issues which are too complex, or the subject of bewildering and vociferous debate. But making the decision about who should influence our thinking can also be difficult. Byerly says that’s where philosophy comes in handy, as it helps us to establish a set of heuristics for whom to trust with our intellectual lives.

“… expertise alone can rarely settle the questions that matter to us. This is because settling these issues isn’t just about making a list of facts. It’s about deliberating about these facts in light of our values and objectives. We have to figure out what we, in our particular situation, should do about the facts. And we can’t figure that out without moral clarity and knowledge of ourselves.”

T Ryan Byerly, philosopher, University of Sheffield

Read the full article here to find out what the five virtues are, some questions to ask when considering who to within your network is intellectually dependable, and strategies to help you grow your own intellectual dependability. Being a critical thinker doesn’t necessarily mean that you possess the virtues of intellectual dependability, but you can build that capacity.

via Psyche, T Ryan Byerly, 4 November 2020. Read the full article here.

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