"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

What are civic dispositions?

In general, a disposition is an attitude of inclination or a tendency to favor some beliefs or actions over others.  Here are some examples of civic dispositions:

  • willingness to place individual goods in the context of the good of the community as a whole. 
  • readiness to participate constructively and productively in collective problem-solving and decision-making
  • willingness to include rather than exclude
  • inclination to cooperate rather than compete, coerce, or manipulate
  • preference for open-minded inquiry versus winning a debate
  • listening to comprehend rather than to respond competitively
  • achieving a sound judgment rather than a numerical victory
  • accepting that a group may know more and be capable of sounder judgment than an individual (with regard to collective problems, needs, etc.);  readiness to learn
  • inclination to identify with soundness of the process of inquiry rather than the pre-determined rightness of views
  • rejection of competitive browbeating in favor of collaborative inquiry and problem-solving 

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