Intuition Pumps: Daniel Dennett on the Dignity and Art-Science of Making Mistakes | Brain Pickings
Geege Schuman stashed this in Brilliant Insight
Sometimes you don’t just want to risk making mistakes; you actually want to make them — if only to give you something clear and detailed to fix.
Therein lies the power of mistakes as a vehicle for, as Rilke famously put it, “living the questions” and thus advancing knowledge in a way that certainty cannot — for, as Richard Feynman memorably noted, the scientist’s job is to remain unsure, and so seems the philosopher’s. Dennett writes:
We philosophers are mistake specialists. … While other disciplines specialize in getting the right answers to their defining questions, we philosophers specialize in all the ways there are of getting things so mixed up, so deeply wrong, that nobody is even sure what the right questions are, let alone the answers. Asking the wrong questions risks setting any inquiry off on the wrong foot. Whenever that happens, this is a job for philosophers! Philosophy — in every field of inquiry — is what you have to do until you figure out what questions you should have been asking in the first place.
You cannot continually improve something unless you start with something that needs improvement.
Thank you SO MUCH for this. I didn't realize that it was actually an article! These are precious concepts for me!
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Such a wonderful article, and it's really helping me with a painful issue (a new one) that I'm dealing with at the moment. It's definitely true sometimes that I'm not "nice" or agreeable, and it definitely can get me in trouble... so, is being that way a mistake?....