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How to Make Mistakes

Dennett, Daniel C (1995) How to Make Mistakes. [Book Chapter]

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Abstract

Making mistakes is the key to making progress. There are times, of course, when it is important not to make any mistakes--ask any surgeon or airline pilot. But it is less widely appreciated that there are also times when making mistakes is the secret of success. What I have in mind is not just the familiar wisdom of nothing ventured, nothing gained. While that maxim encourages a healthy attitude towards risk, it doesn't point to the positive benefits of not just risking mistakes, but actually of making them. Instead of shunning mistakes, I claim, you should cultivate the habit of making them. Instead of turning away in denial when you make a mistake, you should become a connoisseur of your own mistakes, turning them over in your mind as if they were works of art, which in a way they are. You should seek out opportunities to make grand mistakes, just so you can then recover from them.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Subjects:Psychology > Applied Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:288
Deposited By:Dennett, Daniel
Deposited On:03 May 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53

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