James A. Van Slyke is assistant professor of psychology at Fresno Pacific University and his research focus is in the areas of psychology of religion, moral psychology, and religion & science. His first book was The Cognitive Science of Religion (Ashgate Press, 2011) and he completed a co-edited book entitled Theology and the Science of Moral Action: Virtue Ethics, Exemplarity and Cognitive Neuroscience (Routledge Press, 2012). He is currently working on a co-edited volume on sexual selection theory and religion entitled The Attraction of Religion: Evolutionary Theories of Religion (Bloomsbury Press, 2014) and recently contributed a chapter entitled “Moral Psychology, Neuroscience, and Virtue: From Moral Judgment to Moral Character” to the edited collection, Virtues and their Vices (Oxford University Press, 2014). He has also published articles in Zygon and Theology & Science.
Recent work in both philosophy and science has revived interest in the virtue of intellectual humility through several projects that attempt to define the virtue conceptually and study its formation through the empirical sciences. Drs. Timpe, DeYoung, and Van Slykes project seeks to integrate these two areas of research and think practically about how intellectual humility can be formed in community. More specifically, their research aims to identify practices that foster intellectual humility and increase intellectual excellence, out of conversations that explore the definition of humility across disciplinary boundaries in philosophy, theology, education, and the sciences. Their research will ultimately argue that the virtue of moral humility plays a unique role in intellectual humility through the formation of habits that are able to overcome certain vices and cognitive biases that often interfere with this process. Intellectual humility requires the type of character formation best exemplified in the virtue ethics tradition and demonstrated in several areas of empirical research in moral psychology.