Non-Stationary Reflexive Situations Are Characterized by Radical Uncertainty

"Radical uncertainty" is a term from King and Kay's book of the same name. They use it to describe a particular kind of uncertainty that is characterized by both non-stationarity (that is, it changes) and reflexivity (it may change in response to our beliefs about it).

King and Kay differentiate radical uncertainty from resolvable uncertainty in that the latter will have a clear answer that we might look up or can be represented by a known probability.

Radical uncertainty cannot be represented by probablistic thinking. It may involve not only results we did not expect, but results we could not have anticipated.



Kay, John, and Mervyn King. Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers. New York, NY: WW Norton, 2020.