Blinded by Insight

post by Chris_Leong · 2017-12-07T02:45:53.587Z · score: 20 (9 votes) · LW · GW · 0 comments


  Mitigating Strategies
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Insight is often dangerous to the intellect because we may be so captivated by what we have discovered that we take it too far or bundle it with other falsehoods. We can be so focused on the strength behind this nugget of wisdom, that we fail to realise other claims sneaking their way in there.


My main motivation behind writing this article was answering the question, "How can intelligent people believe things that are obviously stupid?". There are a few posibilities:

But nonetheless, some of these beliefs seem clearly unsupportable by anyone who is both intelligent and sincerely seeking the truth, yet there seem to be some people who support these beliefs without being stupid or a raging ideologue. How can we square this? My answer is that they are probably Blinded by Insight.

One reason why I really like this term is it allows me to comment on the epistemic status of a person or movement in a more charitable way than simply saying that they are stupid or ideological. I think that this framing is important as it will make it more likely that you will treat them better. Of course, there is a danger in that it is very easy to label people as Blinded by Insight, but I don't believe that you can save people who are determined to misuse it.

Mitigating Strategies

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to reduce the chance of you falling into this trap:



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