Dissecting the Black Swan

Critical Review 21 (4):491-505 (2009)

ABSTRACT What constitutes a Black Swan? And under what conditions may a Black Swan be expected to arise? As Nassim Taleb describes it, a Black Swan is an event that displays three key properties, the two most important of which are that: (1) it is not even imagined as a possibility prior to its occurrence; and (2) it is in some way significant in its impact. It follows that whether or not an event counts as a Black Swan depends on the subjective imaginings of contemporaneous observers and their (usually implicit) criteria regarding what counts as a ?significant impact.? Since there is nothing in determinism that precludes (1) and (2), Black Swans may occur even in a perfectly deterministic world. Nevertheless, if the world is indeed characterised by randomness, free will, emergence, and the like, then it is arguably more likely to throw forth events that display the above?mentioned properties. The same goes for various specific features of an increasingly interconnected global economy, which allowed Taleb (paradoxically) to forecast what was, for most of us at least, the great Black Swan of 2008
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/08913810903441427
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,330
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Propensity Interpretation of Probability.Karl R. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):25-42.
Popper Selections.Karl Popper - 1983 - Princeton University Press.
Epistemics and Economics: A Critique of Economic Doctrines.G. L. S. Shackle - 1975 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):151-163.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

System Effects and the Problem of Prediction.Jeffrey Friedman - 2012 - Critical Review 24 (3):291-312.
De Finetti on the Insurance of Risks and Uncertainties.A. Feduzi, J. Runde & C. Zappia - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):329-356.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Black Swan.Dharmender Dhillon - 2011 - Philosophy Now 86:46-47.
Black Swans in Politics.Robert Jervis - 2009 - Critical Review 21 (4):475-489.
The Sacrificial Ram and the Swan Queen: Mimetic Theory Fades to Black.Brian Collins - 2013 - Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 20:207-237.
Fukushima, Flawed Epistemology, and Black-Swan Events.Kristin Shrader-Frechette - 2011 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (3):267 - 272.


Added to PP index

Total views
36 ( #251,966 of 2,286,035 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #248,946 of 2,286,035 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature