Practical Wisdom Colloquium Series

Reminder: Between Rules and Practice: Why We Need Practical Wisdom in Politics

What moral skill and will do we need as citizens, professionals, parents and friends to know how to act in particular circumstances, especially when general rules and incentives are insufficient to guide us toward what is good or advantageous? Aristotle called this sort of moral know-how “practical wisdom” or phronesis. Recent research in the natural and social sciences has profound implications for practical wisdom. Findings from fields as diverse as evolutionary biology, social psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, education and political science provide an increasingly complex understanding of the human capacity (and the limits of that capacity) for empathy, judgment, problem solving, deliberation, and cooperation—all of which are ingredients of practical wisdom. The goal of the colloquium series “Between Rules and Practice” is not only to survey diverse fields of knowledge and bring them to bear on contemporary practices and institutions in democratic societies, but also to ask: Are good institutions enough?  Should the university cultivate practical wisdom in citizens and leaders?  For more information please contact Ann Cameron.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Maxwell A. Cameron, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC

“Between Rules and Practice: Practical Wisdom in Constitutional Democracies”
6:00 pm, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
By invitation:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Barry Schwartz, Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, author of The Paradox of Choice.

“Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason: Why Incentives Are No Substitute for Character”
10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

6:45, Green College

Fireside Chat
8:00 pm, Green College

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Frans de Waal, C.D. Candler Professor of Psychology & Director of the Living Links Centre at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, author of The Age of Empathy

“Morality Before Religion: Empathy, Fairness and Prosocial Primates”
3:00-5:00 pm, Frederic Wood Theatre