Volume 7, Issue 2, 1993

Christopher Ormell
Pages 140-145

A Modern Cogito 3
unpredictability and the other

In the first paper of this series (Cogito, 1992) the author outlined ‘the showdown phenomenon’: a live sequence of events of two distinct kinds, ‘red’ and ‘green’, which was experienced by the would-be predictor as absolutely and irreducibly unpredictable, because the predictor invariably got his or her predictions wrong. (In a second paper (Cogito, 1993) he argued that the showdown phenomenon is an epistemological landmark, because it establishes a clearly conceptualized, tangible, localized ‘limit of knowledge’.) At the end of the original paper the author remarked that if we actually experienced such absolute, relentless unpredictability, we would infer the existence of another ‘out there’ doing this to us ... In the current paper he returns to this ontological aspect of the new Cogito and fills out some of the thinking which lies behind it.