Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It is as difficult to change someone’s opinions as it is to change his tastes

--- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (2010), in the section "Chance, Success, Happiness and Stoicism"

A skeptical counterpoint to Popper's optimism in saying "I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth" (The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume II, The high tide of prophecy: Hegel, Marx and the Aftermath, fifth edition (revised) 1996, Princeton University Press, first paperback printing 1971; chapter 24, section I, p. 225)

Taleb provides another perspective later on in the section on "Ethics":
You can only convince people who think they can benefit from being convinced.