MWP Video 3a: Optionality

How having more options can improve our lives. “Options” are not just choices, but pathways sufficiently developed in our brains to enable new strategies and new goals when old ones fail us. This is an aspect of provisionality of judgement, and requires imagination as well as outward facilities. Imagination, then, is not just important in itself, but in the resources it provides us with for facing up to new conditions. This is a tributary video to no. 3 on provisionality, and is also part of a wider series on Middle Way Philosophy.

This is the 13th video in the Middle Way Philosophy introductory course.

Some suggested reflection questions:

1. Can you suggest an example from your own experience of options being unnecessarily restricted? Has there been an occasion when you simply didn’t consider a possible option that would probably have been helpful?

2. How do you think you have extended you options in past experience – for example, have particular practices or discussions with others helped to extend your options?

3. How do you think you could practically extend your options in future? (Remember that this does not mean making better choices – rather it means being able to think of a better range of choices).

4. Can you think of some ways that greater optionality might help the public realm – for example in political decision making? How do you think that optionality could be brought about?

Suggested further reading:

Middle Way Philosophy 4: The Integration of Belief , section 2.a-c

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Antifragile (the concept of optionality is adapted from Taleb)

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