Intellectual Humility

Study an evolving field of enquiry with a variety of guest lecturers

About the course

Intellectual humility is important. Often when faced with difficult questions people are prone to dismiss and marginalize dissent. Political and moral disagreements can be incredibly polarizing, and sometimes even dangerous. And whether it’s Christian fundamentalism, Islamic extremism, or militant atheism, religious dialogue remains tinted by a terrifying and dehumanizing arrogance, dogma, and ignorance. But what is intellectual humility, anyway? And how do we develop such a virtue? And why do people seem so drawn toward intellectual arrogance? These are big, important questions! And thankfully, over the past several years, a growing number of psychologists, philosophers, theologians, and educationalists have been wrestling with these questions and are now suggesting some big, important answers.

This online course will be released in three self-contained parts, covering the Theory, Science and Practice of Intellectual Humility.

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Intellectual Humility: Theory

  • What is intellectual humility?
  • What is an intellectual virtue?
  • How do we know who is intellectually humble?

Intellectual Humility: Theory

Intellectual Humility: Science

  • How do we become intellectually humble?
  • What can human cognition tell us about intellectual humility?
  • Are some people born humble?
  • How do emotions affect our ability to be intellectually humble?

Intellectual Humility: Science

Intellectual Humility: Practice

  • Can you believe what you hear?
  • How should we handle disagreement?
  • What does intellectual humility tell us about religion?

Intellectual Humility: Practice

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, learners will:

  • understand what intellectual humility is and why it is critically important; be able to recognize the theoretical undergirding of the nature of intellectual virtue in general and the nature of intellectual humility in particular;
  • have a demonstrated familiarity with the science of intellectual humility, including the heuristics and biases at work in their own cognition;
  • develop the conceptual tools for engaging with major, contemporary issues surrounding intellectual humility, including disagreement and religious debate;
  • and, ideally, demonstrate new interest in and commitment to personal growth in intellectual humility.


Intellectual Humility: Theory

Intellectual Humility: Science


To accompany ‘Intellectual Humility: Theory, Science, and Practice’, we are pleased to announce a tie-in book from Bloomsbury Academic entitled Intellectual Humility: An Introduction to the Philosophy and Science. This course companion to the ‘Intellectual Humility: Theory, Science, and Practice’ course was written by Dr Ian Church and Dr Peter Samuelson expressly with the course in mind. Drawing from their respective disciplines, philosophy and psychology, Dr Church and Dr Samuelson aim to answer big questions about this important virtue, with each lecture of the course corresponding to a chapter in the book.

Find out more about the textbook



Alasdair Richmond