7

To be used in a phrase like

  • "especially civil, thoughtful, and ___ expressions of differing beliefs" (this is closest to the primary use case)

or

  • "especially civil, thoughtful, and ___ attitudes toward disagreement"

 

Edited in from comments below:

"Reasonable" would more likely be interpreted as logical/valid in the phrases above, though in another context it would fit perfectly as meaning "open to being persuaded".

"Approachable" is very close, though I'm looking for something with a more natural hint toward persuasion rather than just friendliness.

"Convincible" is in the right direction, but perhaps a bit too far. I want the understood meaning to be that the person welcomes differing perspectives and is open to changing their mind, but isn't very easily persuaded because they have good reasons for their position. (Rather than because they're stubborn, or because they are very highly educated about a subject.)

 

I looked through similar questions and did a few searches on Google and on here, and asked on reddit, but haven't found what I'm looking for.

I'm not looking for "open-minded" (too broad) or "tentative" (too uncertain of oneself). "Open-ended" conveys something similar, but applies more to processes or decisions than to beliefs/perceptions. "Flexible" is too "open" for what I'm aiming for.

"Persuadable" is closer, but not quite what I'm looking for I feel like there's another "p" word that has a closer meaning. "Pluralistic" as a description of decision-making is also along the same lines, but I don't think it's the word that is trying to get my attention from somewhere inside of my brain.

I suppose that I could make up a word, like "paritous" (meaning "treating things equally"), but I'm still hoping that there's someone out there who has a better word, or who can provide the "p" word I'm thinking of (if it actually exists, rather than being a vague mis-memory in my brain).

"Receptive" is closer to what I'm after than "amenable" or "suggestible" are. I'm looking for "potentially open to being persuaded" more than "easily persuaded" or "readily yielding" or something similar.

  • 1
    Could you edit in an example sentence with a ______ blank? Or an example situation or story. – Bob Stein Jan 17 '15 at 19:27
  • Patient would fit in the sample phrase and does literally imply a willingness to be acted upon. – Brian Donovan Jan 17 '15 at 19:43
  • Helpful sentences. Whether we have a word, we need the thing. – Bob Stein Jan 17 '15 at 19:46
  • 2
    It's pretty sad we have to struggle to come up with a word for this concept. – 1252748 Jan 17 '15 at 19:56
  • 1
    Pervious might be what you are looking for. Pervious people are open-minded but not easily persuaded. They are open to arguments and ready to listen to you and can be persuaded by reason and logic. (It is used figuratively). However, it might be used in the same sense as receptive also. – ermanen Jan 17 '15 at 20:24

11 Answers 11

3

This meaning may not be the first that springs to mind when we encounter the word reasonable in isolation, but this is certainly among its available meanings, and in the right context the word will be read or heard as meaning thus. OED:

willing to listen to or prepared to see reason.

  • You make a good point, and that sheds light on my description not being clear enough. I should add an example phrase. Thank you. – ProlificAxons Jan 17 '15 at 19:26
  • Chosen as the best answer because it makes the most sense for all of the use cases that came to mind. Thanks! – ProlificAxons Jan 19 '15 at 19:52
3

For the trait of convinceability or permeability to ideas, there's Persuadable, Influenceable, and Suggestible (an interesting trio of words, each appends -able in a different way).

There's also words like Tractable, Biddable, Amenable, Pliant, but they don't imply reasoning, but rather obedience.

Tolerant or Indulgent could work, though that implies putting up with the expression of ideas, rather than being convinced by them.

Interested, Welcoming... they suggest that dissent is invited, but not necessarily heeded: perhaps they only invite dissent because they like the chance to argue their own side!

But I actually think you nailed it in the title. "Open (to)". A person is "especially civil, thoughtful, and OPEN TO expressions of differing beliefs". A person has "especially civil, thoughtful, and OPEN attitudes toward disagreement".

Webster says:

"10a: characterized by ready accessibility and usually generous attitude: as [...] (2): willing to hear and consider or to accept and deal with: responsive."

That's certainly the term I've always used for this, but I guess I'm open to others.

  • This is.... I don't even. Honestly, "open" works so much better than every other word I thought of. Lol. Still looking for that missing "p" word, but if no one provides a better answer, I'll end up marking this as the answer. – ProlificAxons Jan 18 '15 at 3:23
  • Persuadable, pliant, pliable, plastic, placable, polemical... pickup truck? (well, my thesaurus suggests it as a synonym for "convertible"!) – Dewi Morgan Jan 18 '15 at 4:04
  • This is a great answer that explains the nuances between words. But again, open-minded is another form of being open which OP eliminated as too broad. I don't think there is a difference in meaning. However, it looks like OP is open to be persuaded :) – ermanen Jan 18 '15 at 5:03
  • 1
    @DewiMorgan I still don't remember the "p" word. :| That aside, I went with "reasonable" as the answer because it works for most use cases, so I think it's more important for anyone else who reads this question to see. But your answer of "open" was just as good! – ProlificAxons Jan 20 '15 at 23:01
  • 1
    @DewiMorgan Also, I have the same interpretation of "open" vs "open-minded" that you do. :) – ProlificAxons Jan 20 '15 at 23:01
2

It seems you have explored all possibilities. I can suggest the following:

  • "approachable"? - "The supervisor is quite approachable, so don't hesitate to bring up any problems you have."

  • "accessible"? - "Talk to our director and you'll find he's accessible to new ideas."

  • "open and responsive"?, "unbiased"?

I still think "receptive" fits better than any of my suggestions.

  • "Approachable" actually feels more on-target than receptive does for the intended meaning of my particular use case, but it's still not quite what I'm looking for. I could almost swear there's a word that's just barely hiding outside of my perception. I feel like it's something I learned in an organizational behavior class or communication studies class. – ProlificAxons Jan 17 '15 at 19:39
  • 1
    Thanks again for making a suggestion. It was very helpful! :) – ProlificAxons Jan 19 '15 at 19:53
2

Convincible :

  • being susceptible to persuasion.

Persuasible:

  • Capable of being persuaded; persuadable.
  • In a figurative sense you can talk about a permeable mind.

As for your sample sentence. ..... an unprejudiced attitude towards disagreement, might work!!

  • "Convincible" is in the right direction, but perhaps a bit too far. I want the understood meaning to be that the person welcomes differing perspectives and is open to changing their mind, but isn't very easily persuaded because they have good reasons for their position. (Rather than because they're stubborn, or because they are very highly educated about a subject.) – ProlificAxons Jan 17 '15 at 19:46
  • Thanks again for making a suggestion. It was very helpful! :) – ProlificAxons Jan 19 '15 at 19:53
0

After some thought I'd like to propose that undogmatic might be a fair fit for what you describe. The actual usage seems miserable (read: almost non-existent) in comparison with dogmatic.

Unfortunately, the definitions I saw for undogmatic are useless for quoting as they all just state something along the lines of "not dogmatic". I'll let you invert some of these definitions of dogmatic (1,2) on your own:

  1. characterized by or given to the expression of opinions very strongly or positively as if they were facts: a dogmatic critic [1]
  2. a. (of a statement, opinion, etc) forcibly asserted as if authoritative and unchallengeable [2]

    b. (of a person) prone to making such statements [2]

  3. based on assumption rather than empirical observation [2]

  4. asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated: I refuse to argue with someone so dogmatic that he won't listen to reason. [2]

I'll second @ProlificAxons statement that this may say something about our culture; I suggest we put undogmatic (or whatever the ultimate conclusion is) to more liberal use in lists of desirable virtues. Others I considered are: free-thinking, objective, understanding

0

I feel like the word you're thinking of is 'pragmatic', as in 'pragmatic about his views'. A pragmatic person would be willing to change their minds if someone offered an irrefutable argument, rather than clinging to an untenable position.

0

Cogent (adjective) click here would fit nicely

1: having power to compel or constrain

2a: appealing forcibly to the mind or reason : convincing, cogent evidence
b: pertinent, relevant, a cogent analysis — co·gent·ly (adverb)

Etymology: cogent (adj.) 1650s, from French cogent "necessary, urgent" (14c.), from Latin cogentem (nominative cogens), present participle of cogere "to curdle; to compel; to collect," literally "to drive together," from com- "together" (see co-) + agere "to drive" (see act (n.)).

Definition from merriam-webster.com

Etymology from etymonline.com

0

In the end I landed on gullible. By entering gullible into thesaurus I found credulous, unskeptical, trustful, and of course, foolish, sucker.

0

A little late to the game here,

but I wonder if "permissive" is well suited to your examples.

adj.: allowing or characterized by great or excessive freedom of behavior.

Where it lacks is in the "being persuaded" portion, because it describes tolerance and implies uncertainty.

I think the issue is less a cultural problem, but the specificity of the word that is sought. The Greek εὐπειθής is want for an adequate translation in English, but is itself an uncommon "open-minded" type amalgamation to describe someone who is persuadable.

An adjective to describe someone who is willing to listen, hear argument, and be persuaded by sound reasoning, I would describe as judicious.

  • Welcome to English Language and Usage ScribeNM. Your answer may be useful, but will need citations from reliable sources to help establish its validity. Please read english.stackexchange.com/help. – J. Taylor Jan 1 at 12:04
0

A person who is ‘unconvinced’ is still open to new arguments. This may also imply it will require a strong argument to convince them because unconvinced implies prior arguments failed to convince.

But ‘unconvinced’ might imply more resistance than you want to convey. In that cause, perhaps ‘skeptical’ is better fit.

-1

Impressionable has a p in it. But it has a more submissive connotation than I think you mean. I have the impression (I could be persuaded) you want a word where the listener has some power of decision, and the speaker attempts to influence.

  • Yes, I'm hoping for a word that implies that only strong and/or well-presented arguments will be accepted by the listener. – ProlificAxons Jan 17 '15 at 19:35
  • 1
    @ProlifiAxons, hmm a warmed up skeptical, as it were? – Bob Stein Jan 17 '15 at 19:40
  • Yes, something to that effect. – ProlificAxons Jan 17 '15 at 19:47
  • Penetrable and pliant are also too weak and passive, but they come to mind. – Bob Stein Jan 17 '15 at 19:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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