I was straightening up around my chair Sunday and ran across this book The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch. This book explores explanations and how they can cause change and our ability to improve them not just in science but in our successful quests.
This book is very challenging and I must admit I have read this much slower than usual but I would really like to understand how the author will bring all these pieces together which is really the topic of this blog, consilientinterest.
I found this quote from page 17 very thought-provoking and wanted to share this with our readers and get some comments:
“The example of a conjuring trick illustrates how observations provide problems for science—dependent, as always, on prior explanatory theories. For a conjuring trick is a trick only if it makes us think that something happened that cannot happen. Both halves of that proposition depend on our bringing quite a rich set of explanatory theories to the experience. That is why a trick that mystifies an adult may be uninteresting to a young child who has not yet learned t have the expectations on which the trick relies. Even those members of the audience who are incurious about how the trick works can detect that it is a trick only because of the explanatory theories that they brought with them in the auditorium. Solving a problem means creating an explanation that does not have conflict.”
This paragraph is very difficult because some of the problems that I face particularly in county government seems to have an explanation and in reality are the better of several choices. That may mean that the problem has not been solved but rather smoothed over.
- Are all models wrong? (egtheory.wordpress.com)
- A brilliant and exhilarating and profoundly eccentric book (3quarksdaily.com)
- The Art of Wild Speculation a.k.a. Metaphysics (theoptimistpress.wordpress.com)