Pluralist Hedgehog, a.k.a. Emlen, is a doctoral student in the psychology of judgment and decision making at the University of Pennsylvania, doing a concurrent masters in philosophy. Her research focuses include actively open-minded thinking, metacognition (thinking about thinking), and lay epistemology (people’s beliefs about knowledge and how to get it). She takes scientific thinking in the laboratory and classroom as a special model of human reasoning where the goals and methods are relatively clear. This makes it easier to talk about thinking and epistemology, although she wants to extend this clarity beyond deliberate scientific thinking to everyday problem-solving.
When she was thirteen, she decided to make Understanding her quest until such a time as she Understood enough to be confident that some other goal was also worth pursuing. Eventually she picked up a new quest, Helping People Think More Clearly. She thinks this is a particularly awesome grail to pursue because there are so many ways to pursue it, including doing everything she wants to do anyway – write, and teach, and do research, and have interesting conversations, and also read everything – but it will Never Be Done. This blog is one piece of this project.
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