Samuel Brenner reads *Stubborn Attachments*

An excellent review and interpretation, here is one summary part:

…the fundamental idea of the book is not “economic growth is good” but rather “here’s how to reason under extreme uncertainty”, and that once you adopt Tyler’s view about how to reason under extreme uncertainty, both principles (growth and rights) fall out as the only two important considerations…

My preferred view of the book’s overall argumentative structure is more like the following:

G. Good things are better than bad things
H. We need to act in order to achieve good things
I. But there’s a huge froth of uncertainty, and our actions might be counterproductive
J. So we should have faith
K. And also we should only pursue the actions with really high expected value and which are likeliest to rise above the froth of uncertainty
L. The actions that pass this test best are growth and rights, so we have to pursue both

I would stress this is a complement to other interpretations rather than a substitute for them, in any case an excellent short essay.  And here is “About Samuel Brenner.


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