The Believing Game as a Model for Thinking
YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado
July 30–August 1, 2009
Conference Flier (Right Click to Download)
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Peter Elbow
The purpose of this conference is to explore the believing game, which Peter Elbow also calls “methodological believing,” as a way to think more clearly.
We contrast the believing game with the “doubting game” — being skeptical, questioning, criticizing all ideas in order to uncover hidden flaws—which has come to dominate our culture’s conception of good thinking. The believing game challenges the monopoly of this skeptical tradition: it represents the ability to enter into all ideas in order to uncover hidden virtues. It asks us not just to listen to all views that differ from our own and hold back from arguing with them; not just to restate them without bias (as Carl Rogers advocated); but actually to try to believe them. Believing and doubting are both necessary tools or methodologies for scrutinizing and testing ideas, but “believing” is a refreshing and underused method that can enhance our lives as well as our ideas, and that provides a powerful means of developing our thinking.
We will gather in the beautiful Colorado mountains to interact with Peter Elbow and with each other. After Elbow’s introductory plenary, he will participate in two other plenaries designed to collect and explore the richness of perspectives that you as conference registrants bring with you. Our goal is to provide a venue for each of you to enrich and deepen your understanding of the believing game and its possibilities.