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Practical Wisdomby Barry Schwartz
Synopses & Reviews
A reasoned yet urgent call to embrace and protect the essential, practical human quality that has been drummed out of our lives: wisdom.
It's in our nature to want to succeed. It's also human nature to want to do right. But we've lost how to balance the two. How do we get it back?
Practical Wisdom can help. "Practical wisdom" is the essential human quality that combines the fruits of our individual experiences with our empathy and intellect-an aim that Aristotle identified millennia ago. It's learning "the right way to do the right thing in a particular circumstance, with a particular person, at a particular time." But we have forgotten how to do this. In Practical Wisdom, Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe illuminate how to get back in touch with our wisdom: how to identify it, cultivate it, and enact it, and how to make ourselves healthier, wealthier, and wiser.
"Schwartz (The Paradox of Choice) and Sharpe, both professors at Swarthmore College, explore our increasing distrust of and disenchantment with our institutions — governmental, medical, legal — an alienation shared by professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers and the populations they serve. The authors exhort a revival of what Aristotle referred to as 'practical wisdom' — figuring out the right way to do the right thing at the right time — not merely following established rules. Particular circumstances call for specific responses — the key is a flexibility impossible in ossified bureaucracies. Schwartz and Sharpe focus on finding a balance between professional commitment and financial profitability, praising 'canny outlaws' who find ways to exercise practical wisdom, from judges to hospital custodians attentive to context. This highly recommended and important book offers an antidote to the mistrust that plagues the morale both in the workplace and beyond. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Practical wisdom" is the essential human quality that combines the fruits of our individual experiences with our empathy and intellect. The authors illuminate how to get back in touch with our wisdom: how to identify it, cultivate it, and enact it, and how to make ourselves healthier, wealthier, and wiser.
A reasoned and urgent call to embrace and protect the essential human quality that has been drummed out of our lives: wisdom.
In their provocative new book, Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe explore the insights essential to leading satisfying lives. Encouraging individuals to focus on their own personal intelligence and integrity rather than simply navigating the rules and incentives established by others, Practical Wisdom outlines how to identify and cultivate our own innate wisdom in our daily lives.
About the Author
Barry Schwartz is the author of the acclaimed bestseller The Paradox of Choice. A frequent lecturer at conferences (TED, Gel, etc) around the world, he is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, specializing in Psychology and Economics.
Kenneth Sharpe is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College where he teaches political philosophy, ethics, and political economy. His most recent book is Drug War Politics: The Price of Denial.
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