If I know, then I don’t need to listen
“In our risky society, you have to be sure about things to be heard. You need to issue out confident proclamations: ‘Research shows that serotonin deficiency in the brain is the cause of depression’; ‘We now finally have a diagnostic system that deals with mental illness.
“Doubt is needed as an antidote to this. In essence, certainty is dogmatic, whereas doubt has an important ethical value. Certainty’s ‘I know’ can easily lead to blindness. Doubt on the other hand, leads to openness, to other ways of acting and new understandings of the world.
“However if I am in doubt, then other people’s perspectives are endowed with greater meaning. The problem with this is that, in an accelerating culture, this approach is slow and harks back to history, which isn’t deemed to be as relevant to right now. From primary school to university, we learn to ‘know’, but we also need to learn to doubt.” ~ Svend Brinkmann.
Svend Brinkmann is a Danish Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. He serves as a co-director of the Centre for Qualitative Studies. He is the author of ‘The Joy of Missing Out’ and ‘Stand Firm.’