Pursuing plausibility
by Cynthia Selin; Ângela Guimarães Pereira
International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy (IJFIP), Vol. 9, No. 2/3/4, 2013

Abstract: There is a need for a corrective to the cultural and institutional mindsets that seek to calculate incalculable futures. Plausibility is an undertheorised and illusive concept yet one that critically moves beyond a search for a factual encounter with the future. While not assuming that plausibility will unproblematically lift policy making and technology assessment from failures of both imagination and prediction, teasing apart the tensions latent in the concept is helpful and timely. The articles in this special issue ask: is plausibility another mode of relating to the future that acknowledges an intrinsically uncertain and contingent future? Does plausibility offer a pathway away from the pathologies of prediction and probabilistic thinking to create a more fruitful space to make better decisions? This introductory article describes the intellectual pursuit of plausibility through a description of the contemporary conditions that necessitate a revised approach to uncertainty and a historical account of the rise of probabilistic thinking.

Online publication date: Fri, 28-Feb-2014

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