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Does our society promote wisdom?

 
 
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 06:53 am
Or is there a lack of it?
Being on the young side, I have not witnessed how generations have changed.
I don't think our society promotes wisdom. Has society ever promoted such, or has there been a decline?
pq
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 1,078 • Replies: 13
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hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:30 am
America sure does not. Look at American High Schools, where it is generally considered uncool to be seen as smart. Kids sift through the rhetoric and see for themselves what the adults care about, what is important in life, and then mimic the societal norms. They hear a lot of talk about education being important but they know that most people not only don't care about gaining wisdom but that being wise removes one from his peers and hurts chances for success and happiness in life. To become wise is to become a geek/wonk/egg head and so on, it is to be avoided.

It is different in the East, there it is considered ones duty to do ones part to get into a position to be of help to the collective. Being wise puts make a person able to do good things for others, wasting the ability to learn in the East is a crime.

The West has declined, formerly wasting God given intellectual ability was considered an affront to God, it was a sin.
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fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:31 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Steady there...that could be a line from "the messiah" aka coberst ! Shocked

Technically, that question gives rise to the immediate problem of anthropomorphization of "society". i.e. Whatever "wisdom" is, its domain of application is normally at the level of "the individual". You need to establish that psychological attributes can be affected by sociological forces in order to proceed, and that can be as difficult as discussing for example how physical laws affect biological processes.

Generally though, if the question can be asked in the form "is the goal of the education system to promote individual wisdom ?, I would say the answer is no. It is to fulfil the practical needs of society. Lip service is now paid to the promotion of individual interests (relative to previous time), but this is more a political issue involving schools reducing unemployment figures rather than a pedagogical one.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 08:02 am
Yes
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 12:11 pm
@fresco,
Another way of saying what Fresco said is to ask you, PQ, what you mean by "our" society. Your question assumes that "we" come from more or less the same background, one that includes a certain minimum of material affluence and opportunity, which are required before anyone can claim with a straight face that the most serious problems facing "us" today (to quote the Messiah that Fresco mentioned) are ones having to do with wisdom, intellectual life, etc. Once you specify who you mean by "our," you will start to bring in all sorts of society-specific factors that will undoubtedly have some role to play in your answer.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 12:19 pm
p.s. The Wall Street journal recently featured one take on the American situation (in the form of a book review) that makes the opposite conclusion from what is normally touted: according to Daniel Willingham, the problem is not that pre-college education is too focused on practicality and specialization at the expense of abstract critical skills, but rather that it is not focused on practicality enough and spends too much time on abstract critical skills that students don't know what to do with.

I don't think the situation is so simple that it can be reduced to either of these things, but this at least gives you an idea of the diversity of opinion on the matter. Any kind of social critique, whether of education or anything else, is bound to fail if it seeks to simplify the matter to a single explanation rather than make the picture as complicated (and therefore as realistic) as possible.
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Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 02:24 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

Or is there a lack of it?
Being on the young side, I have not witnessed how generations have changed.
I don't think our society promotes wisdom. Has society ever promoted such, or has there been a decline?
pq


One cannot promote wisdom anymore than one can teach patience. It can only be learned over time, and when it's witnessed it can be rewarded.

I think that at least here in the US, it isn't that we've stopped recognizing and rewarding wisdom, it's that we have more and more recognized and rewarded idiocy and anti-intellectualism.

T
K
O
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 05:36 pm
@Shapeless,
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Yes, sorry I did personify society,I should have phrased that better, I meant current/western society in comparison to other societies of different cultures/ages. Obviously we're speaking in extremely general terms here.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 05:44 pm
@Diest TKO,
Quote:
I think that at least here in the US, it isn't that we've stopped recognizing and rewarding wisdom, it's that we have more and more recognized and rewarded idiocy and anti-intellectualism.


I think that's true to say. Although I have very little to compare it to. However, I am pretty sure that in the past, before the media society it was less easy to be recognised for being an idiot.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 05:52 pm
can we with any wisdom promote society
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:17 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

Quote:
I think that at least here in the US, it isn't that we've stopped recognizing and rewarding wisdom, it's that we have more and more recognized and rewarded idiocy and anti-intellectualism.


I think that's true to say. Although I have very little to compare it to. However, I am pretty sure that in the past, before the media society it was less easy to be recognised for being an idiot.

Pretty much the point I'm making. Yeah.

T
K
O
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:23 pm
@Diest TKO,
Gee, I don't understand any of that. Bunch of referencing phrases.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:27 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Gee, I don't understand any of that. Bunch of referencing phrases.

Ye gotta git sum of dis wizdumb I gitted down at the bait and tackle shop from Bubba to git it. Yunderstand?

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 07:42 pm
@Diest TKO,
Diest TKO wrote:


I think that at least here in the US, it isn't that we've stopped recognizing and rewarding wisdom, it's that we have more and more recognized and rewarded idiocy and anti-intellectualism.

T
K
O


I agree. The popular culture notions are the wisdom many subscribe to (like the canard that welfare moms were an economic drain on citizens). Anti-intellectualism is standard in much of society, I believe. The quickest way for a political candidate to scuttle his/her chances is to appear to people as an intellectual, in my opinion.
0 Replies
 
 

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