Disciplinary perspectives on unknowns

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These six videos provide perspectives from, respectively, the disciplines of clinical psychology, history, law, philosophy, physics and statistics on how each discipline deals with the unknown.

Understanding and responding to unknowns does not fall neatly within a single discipline. Instead, different disciplines have different ways of thinking about and dealing with unknowns and there is no core literature that brings these understandings together. These videos illustrate some of that diversity of perspectives of unknowns.

Appreciating different disciplinary perspectives on the unknown is important for starting to understand the diversity of unknowns inherent in complex problems, along with the need for a corresponding array of methods for responding to them.

These videos were recorded in the first half of 2015 for an edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Ignorance!, but ended up not being used in the course.

 


(1) Video (eleven minutes): "Clinical psychology and unknowns" by Associate Professor Bruce Christensen, interviewed by Professor Michael Smithson and Professor Gabriele Bammer. Online: https://youtu.be/-u_2IlF8vuo

 

 


(2) Video (thirteen minutes): "History and unknowns” by Professor Ann Curthoys, interviewed by Professor Michael Smithson. Online: https://youtu.be/iusEIDqqX_4

 

 


(3) Video (thirteen minutes): "Law and unknowns” by Associate Professor Mark Nolan, interviewed by Professor Michael Smithson and Professor Gabriele Bammer. Online: https://youtu.be/tPe-X0F8-hw

 

 


(4) Video (fifteen and a half minutes): "Philosophy and unknowns" by Professor Alan Hájek, interviewed by Professor Michael Smithson and Professor Gabriele Bammer. Online: https://youtu.be/OSXmxpd7kg4

 

 


(5) Video (fourteen minutes): "Physics and unknowns" by Professor Christine Charles, interviewed by Professor Michael Smithson and Professor Gabriele Bammer. Online: https://youtu.be/OfhzGidgGHE

 

 


(6) Video (sixteen minutes): "Statistics and unknowns" by Professor Michael Smithson, interviewed by Professor Gabriele Bammer. Online:  https://youtu.be/VayrMoyA5Tw

 

 


Posted: February 2017
Last modified: February 2017

 

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