Provisionality is the capacity to change our beliefs when we have new experiences, a capacity that we all crucially need to adapt to new conditions. Many people (e.g. scientists) tend to praise provisionality in theory: but what does it involve, and how can we cultivate it? This video, the third in the Middle Way Philosophy series by Robert M Ellis, presents the meaning of provisionality in practical terms.
This is the third video in the Middle Way Philosophy Introductory Course.
Some suggested reflection questions:
- Do you often have chance to pause for reflection, so as to be more critically aware of your assumptions? When does this happen, or when could you make it happen?
- Think of examples of belief that you take for granted in everyday life. Are you aware of possible criticisms of those beliefs?
- If you live a very social life, do you take opportunities for solitude so as to gain perspective on what groups expect from you?
- Do you have any ways of cultivating weak links, through the arts, or other ways of stimulating the imagination or broadening experience? If not, how could you develop these?
Suggested further reading:
Middle Way Philosophy IV: Section 2 gives a detailed analysis of provisionalityGo to next video (4)