Stanley Fish: Everyone has faith and no one has an open mind

Former English professor at UC-Berkley, Johns Hopkins, and Duke being interviewed in World magazine:

Faith in some large general sense is inescapable. Sometimes the arguments agaisnt religion are posed as a contrast between knowing by faith and knowing by more objective means, knowing by empirical or scientific means. But in fact, if you think of faith not as specifically religious but as a set of assumptions which structure your consciousness and allow you to see what it is that you see, then you realize that it is impossible not to have your consciousness structured by a set of assumptions. The issue then becomes which ones? There can’t possibly be a distinction between faithful seeing and other kinds of seeing. It’s all faithful seeing…

I believe you cannot operate without [faith]. This is another way of saying that there’s no such thing as  an open mind, and that’s a good thing. If you had an open mind, a mind not structured by presuppositions, it would have the characteristics of a sieve. Everything would just fall right through it. So I am an advocate of close-mindedness.

Interview with Stanley Fish in World, Vol. 26, No. 10, p. 29: May 21, 2011

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About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
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