Theory of Anything Podcast – Episode 4: What Makes a Good Explanation?

The postmoderns were wrong! Knowledge can progress, despite uncertainty!

In Episode 3 Bruce and Cameo finally solved the problem of how we can make progress in knowledge despite our lack of certainty using Karl Popper’s Theory of Knowledge. In this episode we finally ask what makes a good explanation vs a bad explanation? And how can we recognize the good ones?  

This is part 4 of our 4 part series covering the Theory of Knowledge of Karl Popper as interpreted by physicist David Deutsch. Bruce explains this epistemology to Cameo and Carey, who are hearing it for the first time as we record. Will they agree with it or will they think it’s a bunch of baloney? Find out by downloading this podcast. 

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3 Replies to “Theory of Anything Podcast – Episode 4: What Makes a Good Explanation?”

  1. You mention in this podcast that a lot of “wisdom” passed around in software development is non-explanatory. And I think you’re implying it’s irrational to follow it for that reason. My questions is, why?

    If an idea, explanatory or not, is spreading around in an environment where the ones which are more useful survive, isn’t it still rational to use that idea? It may be better to replace it with some explanatory knowledge, but in the meantime, it seems like a good idea to use the non-explanatory wisdom I’ve got.

    PS. I just started listening to the podcast and I’m loving it so far! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for listening to the podcast!

      I can’t recall the exact comment I made or what I had in mind. But I agree with you that non-explanatory knowledge, just because it could be improved, isn’t necessarily bad. It might be better than all the current alternatives you know about.

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