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Posts Tagged ‘Barry Schwartz’

Given the example of patients and doctors and prescriptions, freedom of choice becomes an oxymoron when choices are given to individuals who are not trained or prepared to make an intelligent decision. Whilst Dan Ariely talked about irrational decision making, Barry Schwartz illustrates how having choices end up limiting individuals rather than empowering them.

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Intelligence = How To Make The Rules, Wisdom = When To Break The Rules

Barry Schwartz calls for a return to practical reasoning or wisdom using the example of hospital janitors. Quoting Aristotle: practical wisdom is the combination of moral will and moral skill. Wisdom is experiential, not inborn–it is a manifestation of behaviour shaped by experience and the environment.

He makes the important distinction between raw intelligence and wisdom: it doesn’t take brilliance to be wise, but without wisdom brilliance isn’t enough.

Using the tragic story of a kid and spiked lemonade, Schwartz makes a devastating critique of our rules and procedure-based society. He lashes out at our world made mad by bureaucracy where rules do not help us think, incentives end up backfiring and only wisdom–practical wisdom–will help us out of our crises.

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