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University of Edinburgh

Intellectual Humility: Practice

University of Edinburgh via Coursera


We live in a polarised world where all too often people talk past each other. But do you know when to believe what others say? For example, how quick should we be to accept something that someone else tells us is true, and what should we be looking out for when assessing a person's trustworthiness? Meanwhile, what should we do when we encounter disagreements with people who seem to be our equals? How and when should we adjust our beliefs, and how does the appropriate response vary depending on the evidence? These challenges may be especially important in the arena of religious disagreements. How should we weigh the evidence for and against various theistic and atheistic stances?

Experts in psychology, philosophy, theology and education are conducting exciting new research on these questions, and the results have important, real-world applications. Faced with difficult questions people often tend 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 arrogance, dogma, and ignorance. The world needs more people who are sensitive to reasons both for and against their beliefs, and are willing to consider the possibility that their political, religious and moral beliefs might be mistaken. The world needs more intellectual humility.

In this course. we will examine the following major questions about applied issues surrounding intellectual humility:

• Should you believe what people say?
• How should we handle disagreement?
• What is the role of evidence in resolving religious disagreements?

All lectures are delivered by leading specialists, and the course is organised around a number of interesting readings and practical assignments which will help you address issues related to humility in your daily life.

This course can be taken as a part of a series which explores the theory, the science and the applied issues surrounding intellectual humility. Before, we considered how to define and measure intellectual humility, what intellectual virtue is, whether we are born or can become humble, and what cognition and emotions can tell us about intellectual humility. If you are interested, complete all three courses to gain a broader understanding of this fascinating topic. Look for:

• Intellectual Humility: Theory -
• Intellectual Humility: Science -

Check out our trailer to hear more -

Taught by

Dr Ian Church, Professor Duncan Pritchard and Dr. Emma Gordon


4.9 rating, based on 10 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Intellectual Humility: Practice

  • This course is an impressive conclusion to the "Intellectual Humility" series, filled with practical insights on "staying in lane" when faced with intense, polarizing disagreements involving understanding, knowledge, belief and biases. With the current social climate at present, this course (and the series) should be taken by everyone to help temper down discord and build understanding and consensus.
  • Sylvia Amar completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    It is the last course of the intellectual humility serie. It focuses about practice. It gives us concretes ways to raise our intellectual humility.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I found this course to be stimulating and exceptionally germaine to the current world of political and human relations. The content prompted me to assess my own level of intellectual humility. It also gives me an additional tool to use in assessing the position of others. I have a clearer picture of the intellectual scale within which intellectual humility rests - ranging from arrogance to subservience.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    What is the use of understanding the theory and science behind something without acknowleding that the final component is to be able to do what you have learned?
    Found this course great in terms of its practical advice. Gave plenty to think about on how to look at ones reactions and behaviour and ideas on how to make changes for the better.
  • Carol Brearley completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This was a great course to finish off the Intellectual Humility series. I learned so much and it also answered some questions that carried over from previous classes in the series. I highly recommend all three Intellectual Humility classes.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is succinct and offers enough for all kinds of learners to gain personal insight and knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed how it challenged my thinking and exposed me to philosophical ideas I hadn't encountered before.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Great course, and very much on time with all that's going on in the world now. It helped me better understand how to discuss with people and actually reach them, and maybe reach some conclusion as well.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I enjoyed this subject. The course structure effectively helped me to learn new ways of thinking about the resolution of disagreements and has given me techniques that I am now practicing in real life.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    An enjoyable course offering practical information (I hesitate to use the word 'Advice') on conduct within social groupings. I have become Humble. At least, I think I have.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    There was a very good mixture of video and written material. The lecturers varied, but all were clear. I enjoyed the discussion forums and followed up some reading ideas from them. I thought the course ended rather abruptly.

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