Someone with this attitude would have a definite or even strong opinion on a given issue, but would also be willing to change their mind should new information arrive. The word could also be used to describe someone who was open minded, but also had a clear working opinion which they were prepared to use with confidence.

An example of this would be an Agnostic who nevertheless considers it very unlikely that God exists. But the meaning shouldn't be limited to a religious context.

Agnostic is close, but only seems to describe the open minded aspect of the attitude, not the having a definite working opinion aspect.

Any ideas?

  • How about saying 'Based on the evidence before me, my clear opinion is that the dog did it'?
    – WS2
    Oct 12, 2013 at 17:42

3 Answers 3


Perhaps scientific

conforming with the principles or methods used in science: a scientific approach

The scientific method is defined as

principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses

Scientists (and others practicing the scientific method, in work or their everyday lives) routinely have viewpoints, opinions and hypotheses about issues, but are ready to modify those positions based upon new evidence.

And, in anticipation of any objection that the initial example given was in the religious context, numerous scientists believe that their scientific approach is not incompatible with their religious beliefs, and many argue that their scientific approach demonstrates the validity of their religious positions.

Albert Einstein provides an example of the view that science and religion are compatible.


I propose backboned or enlightened as they combine the senses of knowledge and lack of prejudice. OED definition:

having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.

A slightly obscure term (I have only encountered this word in some history books) but which fits very well is verligte, which means enlightened in Afrikaans.

one who is enlightened or broadminded


I would probably say measured, deferring to meaning of "measured" as something being carefully thought out, of which in some way implies a possibility to change given the correct argument. Convincible is an alternative, but comes across as more obscure.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.