• How to (re)think

    “When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?”

    — John Maynard Keynes, 1921, A Treatise on Probability. London: Macmillan

    UPDATE: See the comments for a discussion as to whether Keynes really wrote or uttered these words.

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    • I just searched through that book using Google books and could not find that quote.

      • @Bruce Bartlett – Here’s the scoop. I saw it in Bernstein’s “Against the Gods.” His endnote says it appears in Moggridge, Vol. X p. 440 and then says “see also Keynes 1921, p. 408.”

        Here’s the rest of the Moggridge citation: 1972. the Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

        @Addi – Maybe it was misquoted in my source. I actually would prefer it not use “persuades” but, rather, “shows.” As written it is tautological.

        If anyone can verify the quote and source, please let me know.

    • I had always heard this quote as, “When the facts change, I change my mind.”

    • The same apocryphal quote appears on page 100 of “The Birth of Plenty” by William Bernstein. A footnote to the quote indicates that Bernstein confirmed with both Donald Moggridge (editor of Keynes’ Collected Works) and Lord Robert Skidelsky (author of the 3-volume biography of Keynes) that the words were never uttered by Keynes.