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Selling the FutureThe Perils of Predicting Global Politics$
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Ariel Colonomos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190603649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190603649.001.0001

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Telling the Future Today

Telling the Future Today

(p.33) 2 Telling the Future Today
Selling the Future

Ariel Colonomos

, Gregory Elliott
Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the main epistemic and political challenges we find today when we make claims about the future. From an epistemic perspective, this chapter asks whether the quality of future claims that are mostly linear (as in Humean epistemology) is more satisfying if future claims are the output of a collective debate or whether individual experts are more reliable. From a political perspective, this raises the question of the institutionalization of knowledge. As in oracles’ networks, indicators are today composed of other indexes that are embedded with our political and economic decisions. This chapter defines the future as a story that has to follow certain rules. When making historical counterfactual claims, we find multiple paths in different scenarios. There is no striking opposition between a closed past and an open future (David Lewis); both of them are enigmas to be unveiled, requiring specific tools.

Keywords:   Future, Hume, Indicators, Predictive markets, Collective intelligence, Linear thinking, Expertise, David Lewis

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