Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):511-528 (2013)

Authors
Jason Swartwood
Saint Paul College
Abstract
Practical wisdom is the intellectual virtue that enables a person to make reliably good decisions about how, all-things-considered, to live. As such, it is a lofty and important ideal to strive for. It is precisely this loftiness and importance that gives rise to important questions about wisdom: Can real people develop it? If so, how? What is the nature of wisdom as it manifests itself in real people? I argue that we can make headway answering these questions by modeling wisdom on expert skill. Presenting the main argument for this expert skill model of wisdom is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I’ll argue that wisdom is primarily the same kind of epistemic achievement as expert decision-making skill in areas such as firefighting. Acknowledging this helps us see that, and how, real people can develop wisdom. It also helps to resolve philosophical debates about the nature of wisdom. For example, philosophers, including those who think virtue should be modeled on skills, disagree about the extent to which wise people make decisions using intuitions or principled deliberation and reflection. The expert skill model resolves this debate by showing that wisdom includes substantial intuitive and deliberative and reflective abilities.
Keywords practical wisdom  virtue  expert skill  empirically-informed ethics  moral intuition  moral development
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Reprint years 2013
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9367-2
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References found in this work BETA

.Daniel Kahneman & Shane Frederick - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Intelligent Virtue.Julia Annas - 2011 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Importance of Roles in the Skill Analogy.Matt Dougherty - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (1):75-102.
Can We Measure Practical Wisdom?Jason Swartwood - 2020 - Journal of Moral Education 49 (1):71-97.
Skill, Practical Wisdom, and Ethical Naturalism.John Hacker-Wright - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):983-993.
Elective Modernism and the Politics of (Bio) Ethical Expertise.Nathan Emmerich - 2018 - In Hauke Riesch, Nathan Emmerich & Steven Wainwright (eds.), Philosophies and Sociologies of Bioethics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 23-40.
Virtue Through Challenge: Moral Development and Self‐Transformation.Alistair Miller - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (4):785-800.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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