The aim of the Stebbing-Heuer Project is to encourage and enable all people – from national leaders to ‘the man on the street’ – to make good and appropriate decisions. I will draw on current writing or historical episodes to examine people’s thought and decision processes, with the aim of highlighting and describing good and poor practices. Hopefully this will encourage readers to examine their own thoughts, question their conclusions and decisions, ask ‘What if … ?’ , and ultimately adopt and promote sound processes.
The name of the project is inspired by the two people who sparked my interest in thinking and deciding – British academic L. Susan Stebbing, the author of the 1930s ‘pop philosophy/psychology’ book Thinking to Some Purpose, and CIA analyst and researcher Richards J. Heuer, the author of the fascinating Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. I first read both of these books in 2001, and began a journey of which this project is a way-station.
Here is a photo of my well-thumbed copies of these books, looking much the worse for wear:
Since then, I have come across or re-visited other authors – most notably Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Paul Monk, Edward de Bono – in an effort to research this topic more deeply. I hope to share what I have learned from them on this website, and encourage you both to read their original works and to share your thoughts with other readers on the site.