Is arrogance a symptom of bad intellectual hygeine?

by enfascination 1 min read21st Mar 201540 comments


I have this belief that humility is a part of good critical thinking, and that egoism undermines it.  I imagine arrogance as a kind of mind-death.  But I have no evidence, and no good mechanism by which it might be true.  In fact, I know the belief is suspect because I know that I want it to be true — I want to be able to assure myself that this or that intolerable academic will be magically punished with a decreased capacity to do good work. The truth could be the opposite: maybe hubris breeds confidence, and confidence results? After all, some of the most important thinkers in history were insufferable.

Is any link, positive or negative, between arrogance and reasoning too tenuous to be worth entertaining? Is humility a pretty word or a valuable habit? I don't know what I think yet.   Do you?