In the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, Newton’s words remind us that progress and enlightenment are built upon the foundations laid by those who came before us. A few concepts I found to be extremely useful from the intellectual legacy of others are Occam’s Razor, Utilitarianism, and Arrival Fallacy.
Occam’s Razor posits that when faced with multiple explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest one is usually the most accurate. It encourages us to prefer simplicity and elegance in our reasoning, reducing unnecessary complexity and assumptions.
Seek solutions that are straightforward and clear, avoiding unnecessary complications that might hinder our understanding of the underlying issues.
Utilitarianism encourages us to evaluate actions based on their consequences, analyzing situations with a broader view, and understanding how our choices can influence others. It provides us with a framework to weigh decisions and understand the impact on society as a whole.
Aim to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
The Arrival Fallacy is a cognitive bias that revolves around the misconception that achieving a specific goal or reaching a certain milestone will lead to lasting happiness and fulfillment. The fallacy suggests that our expectations of future satisfaction often prove to be illusory once the anticipated event or achievement is realized.
Appreciate the journey and process rather than fixating solely on the endpoint. Value the progress, growth, and learning experienced along the way.