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The Town Crier

Shared Understanding

by C. John Grom  |  March 4, 2017

“Few things are as fundamental to human progress as our ability to arrive at a shared understanding of the world.  The advancement of science depends on this, as does the accumulation of cultural knowledge in general.  Every collaboration, whether in the solitude of a marriage or in a formal alliance between nations, requires that the beliefs of those involved remain open to mutual influence through conversation.  Data on any topic–from climate science to epidemiology–must first be successfully communicated and believed before it can inform personal behavior or public policy.  Viewed in this light, the inability to change another person’s mind through evidence and argument, or to have one’s own mind changed in turn stands out as a problem of great societal importance.  Both human knowledge and human cooperation depend upon such feats of cognitive and emotional flexibility.” We have lost our way when every thing is seen through a political prism.

J.T. Kaplan



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