These questions were inspired by this interview between Prof Goodman and behavioural economist Prof David Laibson. Watch it here!
Image: Shang Yang, "Remaining Water No. 6", 2015. A work by Chinese artist Shang Yang, using traditional landscape portraiture imagery to interrogate water’s role in landscapes undergoing environmental degradation, often caused by hyperdevelopment.
I found Prof Goodman’s regarding free will vs determinism fascinating in the context of behavioural economics; Prof Goodman points out that in science, complete determinism has been determined to be impossible. We can never be entirely certain of our predictions. It was interesting, then, that the question could still remain that determinism could still exist in the field of economics.
There is some level where, as people, we are striving for perfection in prediction; and yet, scientifically, we know that our ideal form doesn’t exist. How do scholars square this circle in various disciplines? Must we acknowledge the ultimate unknowability of the future in our pursuit of it? Or, like how the Path to Newton ended with Newton, will we reach a breakthrough once we reach the horizon of predictability which will open up a whole new era of human knowledge?