Failures, Errors & the Boundaries of Our Minds

As part of the Brecht Forum's annual Intensive Intro to Marxism, Richard Levins speaks to how the dialectical method allows us to understand and learn from our inevitable failures, errors and misunderstandings of both nature and society.

A Harvard School of Public Health faculty member, mathematical ecologist, philosopher of science and farmer, Richard draws on a wide range of scientific theories, policy experiments and natural phenomena to illustrate sources of error and also suggest methods for overcoming (but never completely avoiding) these. From the Green Revolution to Corporate-driven Pharmacology to Sociobiology, Levins shows us how the both the fragmentation and commodification of knowledge, together with a static, reductionist philosophy produces conceptual errors. These are systematic in nature and go beyond mere momentary and individual miscalculations. Conversely, Richard also leads a conversation on how we may overcome these errors.

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