Re-reading the Meditations, including the lengthy objections and replies, I came across this passage
I wrote “Meditations” rather than “Disputations”, as the philosophers have done, or “Theorems and problems” as the geometers would have done. In doing so I wanted to make it clear that I would have nothing to do with anyone who was not willing to join me in meditating and giving the subject attentive consideration. For the very fact that someone braces himself to attack the truth makes him less suited to perceive it, since he will be withdrawing his consideration from the convincing arguments which support the truth in order to find counterarguments against it." (Meditations, second set of replies, CSM II, 112).
Descartes makes a striking psychological observation about belief polarisation: people are indeed less willing to take an argument or evidence seriously if it conflicts with earlier beliefs they hold, especially about matters that are closely tied to personal identity, such as childhood vaccinations, climate change, gun rights or abortion. Now it may seem a bit rich that Descartes cautions against readers who would not give his arguments their full due, especially given how he responded to, say, Thomas Hobbes, or Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia.
But if we bracket for a moment how Descartes responded to his own philosophical interlocutors, the mindset he promotes is certainly worth striving towards. How can we cultivate this, say, in refereeing, or in Q and A sessions of conferences? Listening to arguments, trying to give them their full weight, and holding back the urge to counter-argue? I am curious if readers have tried debiasing approaches to cultivate this mindset, or to encourage it in others, for instance in conferences.