Positive psychology: study the mind how it excels, system as a whole
Peterson and Zelligman: Virtue as form of human excellence
SandS note difficulty with virtues (honest, courageous).
Presentation of virtues implies they are logically independent of one another.
Feature list of virtues, without way they interrelate to one another.
We should look for a feature schema (structural functional organization) of how virtue works.
If just maximize virtues can run into trouble. If maximize honesty will lead to cruelty at times, given up on kindness
Core argument: we should talk about the relationship between the virtues
Situations where see virtues in conflict with each other:
Ex: bridesmaid, time running out, with the bride, trying on dresses
Caught between being honest, kind and helpful.
How do you balance them all?
Ex: grading an assignment for a student. Made great progress, from a low C to a high B.
If grade as objectively as possibly can, feedback can keep student at B
Am I marking what they’ve done? Or can I push them. If give them an A can that push them to be an A student
Is my duty to be brutally honest or to push them to be the best they can be
Shows virtues not independent. Trying to optimize between them
Start to see important things about our relationship to the virtues
Real-life situations don’t come with the related virtues attached - the problem of relevance
Often represent virtues with rules: “be kind” doesn’t specify conditions of application: not the same to be kind to my kid, a stranger, etc. Can’t capture in a rule
Rule application depends on relevance realization
Problem of conflict is determining which is more important
Problem of specification also a problem of determining relevance
Relevance, conflict, specificity
Vervaeke would add: need to develop a virtue I don’t have: aspirational Need to cultivate a virtue I don’t have: development
Developmental process dependent on capacity for insight and qualitative transformative experience
Need a higher order ability that deals with relevance:
They argue that’s wisdom.
Given they are not logically independent, need wisdom in order to be virtuous
Each virtue is just how to be most wise in each situation
Deep connection between cultivation and pursuit of virtuous way of life and cultivation of wisdom
Sophia: theoretical wisdom
Phronesis: practical wisdom
SandS argue that Phronesis is what need for virtue: ability to be contextually sensitive, to know what to do in each situation
Related to procedural knowledge (knowing how to do something) and perspectival knowing (situational awareness/what is most appropriate)
Resist trying to understand phronesis as having rules. Can lead to trying to legislate everything - it’s impossible.
Can get into the illusion that can somehow replace people becoming wise with people having laws
Not proposing anarchy - but to step back and realize should have a balance between proposing legislation and cultivating wisdom
Ask will this legislation reduce harm, also ask will this legislation make it less likely that people cultivate wisdom?
They leave out sophia because they associate it too much with having rules.
Rules are proposing, see sophia laregly as propositional, but this may be unfair to sophia. Sophia more like the awareness of principles. Getting into a process.
Cross contextual sensitivity: generalizable across contexts
Sophia like deep ontological depth perception
Need to know how to put principles into processes. Need to know how to put processes into principles.
Need both Sophia and Phronesis
Want an opponent relationship between them: discover powerful principles and put them into effective practice, so that can regulate practices with well-justified principles
Language of expertise
Expert doesn’t necessarily posess best theory, they have the best know-how
Not thinking of perspectival knowing -> mistake
Vervaeke: sometimes mean expertise to mean good, in psychology it’s a domain-specific thing. Know-how rises to an authority, but doesn’t give special authority in other areas and may interfere
Expertise very domain-specific
Domain-specificity of expertise not what need here. Being context-sensitive not the same thing as having expertise
Phronesis not like having expertise in tennis, it is my ability to be sensitive in this context, and that context, and that context
What we need is a domain general ability - not a contradiction
Have to be able to be context sensitive in many different domains
Need an ability to be context sensitive in domain-general way
Ability to realize relevance and intelligence better ways of understanding phronesis than expertise - domain-general ability to be contextually sensitive.
We’re not foolish in domain-specific say
Phronesis much more like intelligence, rationality, RR - apply across multiple domains, general problem solver, capacity for foolishness
Balts and Staudenger: Berlin Wisdom Paradigm
Seminal theory of wisdom
Article: Wisdom a Meta-Heuristic (Pragmatic) to orchestrate mind and virtue towards excellence
Accepted the deep connection between virtue and wisdom
Meta-heuristic: tells us RR playing a significant role in this theory - heuristic for managing your heuristics
Pragmatic syntax of language: always conveying more than saying
James: what it is to live a good life
You should evaluate your knowledge claims in terms of their efficaciously - how they can be used in your life to adapt you to the world
Propositional claims ultimately have to be grounded in your procedural abilities which has to be grounded in perspectival and participatory
Problem with pragmatism: potential confusion between truth and relevance
Pragmatism tries to situate intellectual claims into lived experience, viable ability to fit your world to develop your connectedness to develop yourself
They are invoking ideas and making use of them that presuppose the ability for relevance realization
5 criteria to judge someone wise:
Rich factual knowledge about the fundamental pragmatics of life
Deep grasp of the facts, principles of the fundamental pragmatics of life
Rich procedural knowledge of the fundamental pragmatics of life
Knowing how to put these principles into practice
Propositional and procedural, but going to need participatory (explain how we go through traumatic developmental change), perspectival (connects procedural to specific contexts)
Kind of perspectival knowing
Way in which take the big picture, zoom out, then zoom in as needed
Crucial, lot to do with our capacity for self-regulation
Relativism of values and priorities
Vervaeke: critique. If they are using this term carefully, don’t think many of the people think of as wise were moral reletivists (Socrates, Buddha, Jesus)
Arguing against tying the notion of wisdom to liberal values
They may be talking about capacity for tolerance - rather than relativism: fallibilism (don’t assert certainty), humility (recognition of limits, status, etc).
Recognition and management of uncertainty
We cannot pursue certainty, have to act the best we can with unavoidable uncertainty
Dripping in the machinery of relevance realization
Meta-heuristic: coordinates between heuristics: ex: trade-off between compression and particularization
They focus on expertise, but misleading, overfocus on important procedural knowledge to the exclusion of perspectival/participatory, confuses context-sensitivity with being domain-specific
What they tend to be arguing for is a comprehensive cognitive flexibility and adaptability
Started to generate some empirical work
Train independent judges to evaluate people’s behaviour
Put people into various situations, get them to relate how they would deal with these difficult situations
Do they answer in a way that exemplifies these 5 criteria
Attempt to empirically measure wisdom
Cognitive styles important for being wise
Judicial style, good at making judgments. Don’t have time to get into this in-depth
Shows is how important the capacity for good judgement is for wisdom
Ex: gave experimental task to solve problems. 3 conditions
1.Discuss with someone else
Imagine an internal dialogue
More time to think.
1 and 2 outperformed group 3
Wiser if talk to others, then why do we carry around the BS mythology of complete individualism
No important difference between group 1 and 2 - talking to someone and imagining talking to someone just as good
Grossman: Solomon Effect: if I describe a problem to you from 1st person perspective, tend to be locked in. Framing off transparent, can’t see through it. If re-describe from third person perspective, often have an insight, notice something didn’t notice before. Moving outside and looking back through someone’s eyes can enhance capacity for wisdom tasks -> perspectival knowing