In fallibilism on 20/07/2011 at 3:41 am

We’re not doing good, we’re just doing less bad. (Joshua Prince-Ramus)

When I have advanced as far as I can … I can see more country ahead, but with so disturbed and clouded a vision that I can distinguish nothing. Then I realize how weak and poor, how heavy and lifeless I am, in comparison … and feel pity and contempt for myself. (Montaigne)

Once I understood that I can never be undeniably right I understood that we are all incompetent and ignorant. I mean that in the most derogatory way: We are all idiots. We’re driftwood in the wake of the flood. When hearing compliments from others about my intelligence, I know I am not alone in my immediate emotional response: everyone has that feeling of being a fraud. I know very little, far more than I appear to, and what I know is most likely wrong. And when I think of something I take to be original, I learn in time that its predecessors have been around for thirty, fifty years — sometimes several thousand years — and they usually have expressed this idea far more aptly than I ever could.


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