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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 them no more, we have understood some objective truth. And, as if that were not enough, what we understand we then control. It is like magic, only real. We are like gods!

DAVID DEUTSCH

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME BOOK

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.

  • 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...

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

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

Are ideas that replicate.

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

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

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.

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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