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Puzzled: How To Do Well in Education and in Life

January 15, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm IST

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Join Eyal Shay, dialectician and philosopher, and Plato to learn about learning how to do well in life. In this salon we will discuss learning, rationality, critical thinking, puzzles, and Plato’s work (no prior knowledge necessary), and try our hands at a hands-on exercise in learning.

There are few things more exciting than a treasure hunt. When Forrest Fenn released a 24-line poem leading to a treasure buried somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, a community of seekers formed, some of which dedicated years of their life to solving the mysterious puzzle. It took 10 years for one dedicated person to find the treasure in Wyoming, one person out of many who, by way of integrating information and eliminating candidate locations, reached the precise spot where the chest lay.

Arriving at understanding is a lot like a hunting for a treasure: We need a logically-consistent theoretical framework and real-life application of knowledge, followed by error-correction – to arrive at a point where our actions fit in with nature (i.e everything), causing exactly what we intended to cause.

In the case of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt, the poem served as a puzzle: Each clue in itself did not provide much information, but together the clues outlined some possible solutions that had to be applied – the hunter had to walk on the ground and test their hypothesis. Progress (knowing increasingly more about reality) was made until the deserving winner found the treasure. Could each of us find mental treasures in the form of well-formed concepts?

We want our ideas, then, to be well-formed and it turns out the best way to have good ideas is to solve puzzles, for a number of reasons:

  1. No dogma is adopted blindly in the process
  2. Logical thinking searches for logical flaws, and logic is a mark of truth
  3. Curiosity – an intrinsic motivation – serves as the main motivator
  4. Learning is, ultimately, an inherently 1st-person, idiosyncratic process



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January 15, 2022
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm IST
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Eyal Shay
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