Aristotle said that wisdom is knowing the right way to do the right thing in a particular circumstance. Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe have written a wonderful book called Practical Wisdom (Riverhead/Penguin, 2010) that explains what this means. They explore what happens to doctors, lawyers, and bankers as well as teachers, hospital workers and government employees who depend too heavily on rigid rules and financial incentives rather than good judgment to figure out what the right thing to do is in particular situations. And, they raise a great many reasons why we should be worried about contemporary professional education that plays down the importance of empathy.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
I hear the phrase "win-win" all the time. I'm not sure that very many people who use it know what they are talking about. I have a hunch they mistakenly assume that if everyone would just cooperate, then all parties would get what they want. That, of course, is ridiculous. There are almost no negotiations in which everyone can get everything they want. And cooperation or even compromise isn't the issue.