1887

n Historia - The Black Swan and the owl of Minerva : Nassim Nicholas Taleb and the historians : review article

USD

 

Abstract

In , Nassim Nicholas Taleb considers the importance in human affairs of "Black Swan" events of low probability but high impact. In the process he argues, in a confrontational manner, that historians' causal narratives are mainly invalid on a number of grounds but especially because the unpredictability of Black Swan (or other) events implies that subsequent narratives connecting events are merely "good-sounding stories". This article analyses Taleb's arguments against historical explanation and concludes that they are largely unsatisfactory. It questions Taleb's link between explanation and prediction in the context of history, arguing that Taleb's own concept of randomness as insufficient information implies greater knowledge after an event. However Taleb offers insights which can be of value to historians, and a more irenical relationship would be desirable.

In , beskou Nassim Nicholas Taleb die belangrikheid in menslike aangeleenthede van "Black Swan"-episodes as van geringe moontlikheid maar sterk impak. In die proses redeneer hy, op 'n konfronterende wyse, dat geskiedskrywers se oorsaaklike vertellings hoofsaaklik ongeldig is, op 'n hele aantal gronde, maar veral omdat die onvoorspelbaarheid van Black Swan- (of ander) episodes impliseer dat daaropvolgende vertellings wat episodes aan mekaar koppel, bloot "good-sounding stories" is. Hierdie artikel ontleed Taleb se redenasies teen historiese verklaring en kom tot die slotsom dat hulle grootliks onbevredigend is. Dit bevraagteken Taleb se verband tussen verduideliking en voorspelling in die eks van geskiedenis, deurdat hy redeneer dat Taleb se eie konsep van ewekansigheid as synde ontoereikende inligting, meer kennis na 'n episode impliseer. Taleb bied egter insigte wat waardevol kan wees vir historici, en 'n meer versoenende verhouding sou wensliker gewees het.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/hist/59/2/EJC163413
2014-11-01
2016-12-08
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error