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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 26: ‘As if’ thinking

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going to go away.

US singer Elvis Presley

Does truth – or Truth – exist? I really don’t know. Nor does anyone else. What we know and what we believe are two different things.

What is a fact, however, is that when people act as if truth existed and that it was there to be discovered – we never make truth, we find it – the results have been spectacular. I am thinking mainly of science, although the principle applies in other fields.

In other words, the conviction that truth exists ‘out there’ seems to work for us. It is a heuristic tool. From the Greek verb meaning ‘to find’, heuristic applies to something that is in itself unproven or incapable of proof ...

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