Wisdom of the moment: Pre-modern perspectives on organizational action

Social Epistemology 21 (2):87 – 111 (2007)
Abstract
Although wisdom might be considered a quaint concept in a post-industrialised, instrumental and secular world, it deserves serious consideration. This is done primarily from a philosophical perspective and is intended to encourage the reintroduction of wisdom into educational and developmental programmes, especially for managers and leaders. Mindful of the potential naïvete of transplanting systems of thinking from one epoch to another, we nonetheless examine the relevance of pre-modern thought to the post-modern condition. This is done by radically reinterpreting classical Greek texts as Pierre Hadot has done to derive a meaning of "philosophy" and the place of wisdom in the ancient world. The concepts of wisdom, virtue and enacted ethics derived from this re-interpretation are then applied to an ethnographic case study involving a senior executive. This study suggests that a Stoical "wisdom of the moment" philosophy may characterize contemporary leadership practice.
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