quick Kahneman

Unlearning Economics touches on Daniel Kahneman’s System One/System Two distinction. I think it’s worth repeating something that struck me about Thinking, Fast and Slow here. Kahneman specifically refuses to make a value judgment between the two, and repeatedly stresses that people trust to intuition for the very good reason that intuition is very often right. In fact, the condition of expertise in his view is the ability to make intuitive judgments that are consistently right.

And because of the limitations of System Two, it is no solution to pull more issues into the domain of slow-path reasoning. Rather than trying to figure out how the con works, it’s better to feel intuitively leery of the deal and walk away. In that sense, Kahneman’s book reminded me of Freud and the Viennese modern in general in the respect it had for the passions, for the emotional world, and for the uses of apparent irrationality.

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