Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Howard’s Inner Circle, No. 32: Being Right—An Introspective Examination Is Desperately Needed

Practical Wisdom-The Right Way to Do the Right Thing by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe begins by citing Aristotle’s writing on ethics. They immediately state that practical wisdom “demands more than the skill to be perceptive about others. It also demands the capacity to perceive oneself—to assess what our motives are, to admit our failures, to figure out what works or not and why.”

Unfortunately, the authors conclude that many of society’s institutions and the practices by those in a number of professions discourage and penalize the exercise of practical wisdom except by “canny outlaws.” Schwartz and Sharpe believe telos, the purpose or aim of a practice is the key to these individuals’ requisite “moral skill and will.”

I really enjoyed the book, but the title doesn’t seem “right” to me. I would have preferred The Destruction of Practical Wisdom.

© 2011
The above may be reproduced in full if that fact is stated and Howard Wolosky at http://howardwolosky.blogspot.com is credited as the author.

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