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Being Wrong

Adventures in the Margin of Error

Of all the things we are wrong about, this idea of error might well top the list. It is our meta-mistake: we are wrong about what it means to be wrong. Far from being a sign of intellectual inferiority, the capacity to err is crucial to human cognition. Far from being a moral flaw, it is inextricable from some of our most humane and honorable qualities: empathy, optimism, imagination, conviction, and courage. And far from being a mark of indifference or intolerance, wrongness is a vital part of how we learn and change. Thanks to error, we can revise our understanding of ourselves and amend our ideas about the world.For error to help us see things differently, however, we have to see it differently first. That is the goal of this book: to foster an intimacy with our own fallibility, to expand our vocabulary for and interest in talking about our mistakes, and to linger for a while inside the normally elusive and ephemeral experience of being wrong. Theres an obvious practical reason to bother doing this, which is that our mistakes can be disastrous. And to do that, we need to understand why we err in the first place.That said, it should be clear that this book isnt intended as a self-help guide for the chronically wrong - How To Error-Proof Your Life, say, or Thirty Days to a Righter You. On the contrary, it is far more a defense of wrongness than a defense against it. This book takes seriously Augustines suggestion that error is somehow essential to who we are, and sets out to explore just how this is so. In Part One, Schulz traces the history of how we think about wrongness and the emergence of two opposing models of error. In Part Two, she explores the many factors that can cause us to screw up, from our senses to our higher cognitive processes to our social conventions. In Part Three, she moves from why we get things wrong to how we feel when we do so...
Portrait

Kathryn Schulz is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy, the Nation, the Boston Globe, and the "Freakonomics" blog of the New York Times. She lives in New York´s Hudson Valley.

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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 405
Erscheinungsdatum 04.01.2011
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-06-117605-0
Verlag ECCO
Maße (L/B/H) 203/133/24 mm
Gewicht 390
Abbildungen w. photos and Illustrationen
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