The Forms of Openness: Indifference and the Quest for Knowledge

1. Introduction:

In “The Forms of Openness”, Howard Bloom argues that there are different types of openness that we should be aware of. He distinguishes between the “openness of indifference” and the “openness to the quest for knowledge and certitude”. The first type is characterised by a lack of engagement with the world and a focus on the self, while the second type is characterised by an openness to new ideas and a willingness to question our beliefs. Bloom argues that both types of openness are necessary for a healthy society.

2. The Forms of Openness

2.1 The Openness of Indifference

The first form of openness is the “openness of indifference”. This refers to a state in which we are not invested in the outcome of events and we are not attached to any particular belief or point of view. This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about anything, but rather that we are open to all possibilities and willing to let go of our attachment to any particular outcome. This form of openness is necessary in order to prevent us from becoming dogmatic and close-minded. It allows us to see the world from multiple perspectives and to change our opinions in the face of new evidence.

2. 2 The Openness to the Quest for Knowledge and Certitude

The second form of openness is the “openness to the quest for knowledge and certitude”. This refers to a state in which we are open to new ideas and willing to question our existing beliefs. This form of openness is necessary in order to allow us to grow and evolve as individuals and as a society. It allows us to explore new ideas and to challenge our existing assumptions. without this form of openness, we would remain trapped in our own limited perspective.

3. Conclusion:

In conclusion, Bloom argues that both forms of openness are necessary for a healthy society. The first form allows us to be open-minded and flexible, while the second form allows us to challenge our existing beliefs and grow as individuals.


According to Bloom, there are three different forms of openness: cognitive, affective, and behavioral.

We can foster a more open society by encouraging people to be more open-minded, by promoting dialogue and understanding between different groups, and by increasing access to information.

The relationship between openness and democracy is complex. On the one hand, democracy relies on an open exchange of ideas and free debate in order to function properly. On the other hand, some argue that increased openness can lead to political instability and even violence.

There is a tension between privacy and openness because as we become more open about our lives and our thoughts, we may also be revealing information that we would prefer to keep private.

Technology affects our notions of openness in both positive and negative ways. On the one hand, it allows us to share information more easily than ever before; on the other hand, it also makes it easier for others to track our movements and monitor our behavior.

It is difficult to say whether we are becoming more or less open as a society because there are many factors that contribute to this question. However, overall it seems that we are slowly becoming more open as time goes on.

Increased openness has several implications for our individual lives and relationships including greater transparency in government affairs, closer relationships with friends and family members, and improved communication with people from different cultures