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Are you (can you be) sure?


Another fantastic nautil.us article penned by none-other-than David Deutsch himself! This doesn’t have to do with constructor theory which we’ve discussed before. Instead, it has to do with the concept of fallibilism: “That human beings can be mistaken in anything they think or do” as Deutsch puts it. “Stated abstractly like that, it is seldom contradicted. Yet few people have ever seriously believed it, either.” And he’s right. Its one thing to say and acknowledge the possibility of being wrong, it is quite another to deny the possibility of ever truly being right!

It is a very fascinating read about how we know what we know, and (even more meta), how we know the things we know and don’t know. To throw a fancy word around this branch of philosophy: epistemology. To put it plainly, “The Theory of Knowledge”. Its really at the corner stone of science, a place few serious scientists venture - only after a long career as a real scientist do they feel comfortable looking back and discussing these kinds of things. Its no surprise to see Deutsch is thinking about these things very seriously and counts philosopher Karl Popper as one of his heroes. I know I’ve added a few more books to my reading list!

David Deutsch from Nautilus on Vimeo.

Further Resources

  • nautil.us: Why Its Good To Be Wrong [link]
  • Deutsch book: The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World [link]
  • wiki: Karl Popper [link]

Note: This post (and most of the ones to follow) is a combination of paraphrasing, copy/pasting, and my own thoughts/questions.

Image Credit: All images were shamelessly taken from the original Nautilus article

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