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John Keats' concept of 'negative capability' – or sitting in uncertainty – is needed now more than ever

By Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University
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When John Keats died 200 years ago, on Feb. 23, 1821, he was just 25 years old. Despite his short life, he’s still considered one of the finest poets in the English language.

Yet in addition to masterpieces such as “Ode to a Nightingale” and “To Autumn,” Keats’ legacy includes a remarkable concept: what he called “negative capability.”

The idea – which centers on suspending judgment about something in order…


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