The Limits of Knowledge
THE SOURCE: “Trials and Errors” by Jonah Lehrer, in Wired, Jan.–Feb. 2012.
The 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume was famously skeptical of human perceptions of the relationship between cause and effect. Causes, in Hume’s estimation, were tales “we tell ourselves to make sense of events and observations,” not necessarily a complete picture of what really triggered an event, writes Jonah Lehrer, a science journalist and the author of the new book Imagine: How Creativity Works. The disconnect Hume intuited is becoming more apparent in modern science, especially in medicine, Lehrer writes.