Thomas Nagel on Science and Belief in Propositions

In science, the correct method is to avoid becoming attached to any propositions in the manner of belief. . . however necessary that may be for practical affairs. The only way we can have any hope of advancing toward the truth is to be continually dissatisfied with our opinions, to always be on the lookout for objections, and to be prepared to drop or alter our theories whenever counterevidence, counterarguments, or better-supported alternatives present themselves. Only the willingness to change one’s mind gives any ground for thinking that what one hasn’t been persuaded to change one’s mind about may be right, or at least on the right track.

Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (Oxford University Press: 1997), p. 128.


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