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The Problem of Secret Intelligence$
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Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780748691838

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691838.001.0001

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(p.257) Conclusion
The Problem of Secret Intelligence

Kjetil Anders Hatlebrekke

Edinburgh University Press

This book argues that intelligence is secretly generated wisdom beyond the limits of formal reasoning that makes uncertain estimates less uncertain, and that consequently generates political, strategic and operational advantages over adversaries. However, an acknowledgement of intelligence as art and the use of critical rationalism cannot solve the problem of induction. It only reduces the problem, since humans can never free themselves from their own history and experiences. Critical rationalism can therefore be understood as critical induction, and hence illustrates how thinking, and therefore decisions, are shaped by each person’s history and experiences. It is in this spirit of humility and self-awareness that intelligence as art must be understood. Intelligence is not static. It cannot provide facts, and it cannot increase certainty. Intelligence can only make uncertain estimates less uncertain, and can therefore only decrease uncertainty. It is this understanding of the limitations of intelligence that constitutes the strengths of intelligence, ensuring an understanding of intelligence as the art that seeks to comprehend and describe threats that appear in new variations and thus beyond the limits of inductive logic.

Keywords:   Perception, Threat, Reciprocal, Fear, Terrorism

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