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The Beginning of Infinity

The Beginning of Infinity

by David Deutsch

The Beginning of Infinity

Is the possibility of the unlimited growth of knowledge in the future.

David Deutsch, a renouned phisicist, postulates that Knowledge consists of explanations (assertions about what is out there beyond the appearances). For most of the history , we had almo...

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False Ways to Get Knowledge

  • Empiricism: said that we derive it from sensory experience. False, We interpret experiences through explanatory theories, but true explanations are not obvious. We create new explanations through conjecture. One cannot derive predictions from experience, one certainly c...

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There is only one way of making progress: conjecture (guesses) and criticism. We create theories by rearranging, combining, altering and adding to existing ideas with the intention of improving upon them. The rol...

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The role of Enlightenment

Enlightenment represents a way of pursuing knowledge with a tradition of criticism and seeking good explanations instead of reliance on authority. Enlightenment's quintessential idea is that progress is both desirable and attainable.

The Enlightenment was a revolution in ho...

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The role of Science

Science is not about prediction. But explanations. Predictions are used to validate new explanations.

  • Knowledge that is both familiar and uncontroversial is background knowledge
  • A predictive theory whose explanatory content consists only of b...

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Problems are conflicts between explanations or theories. Expectations are theories too.

Solving a problem means creating an explanation that does not have the conflict.
Since theories can contradict each other, but there are no cont...

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Continental vs British Enlightenment

2 interpretations of human progress inspired 2 broad branches of the Enlightenment:

  1. The Continental Enlightenment understood that problems are soluble but not that they are inevitable
  2. The British Enlightenment understood both equally.
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Memes

Are ideas that replicate.

The world’s major cultures – including nations, languages, philosophical and artistic movements, social traditions and religions – have been created incrementally over hundreds or even thousands of years. Most of the ideas that define them, includi...

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Culture

A culture is a set of ideas that cause their holders to behave alike in some ways. By ‘ideas’ I mean any information that can be stored in people’s brains and can affect their behaviour.

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DAVID DEUTSCH

We want true explanations. So we seek explanations that remain robust when we test them against those flickers and shadows, and against each other, and against criteria of logic and reasonableness and everything else we can think of. And when we can change t...

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