T. S. Eliot asked:
|“|| Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
This Applied Wisdom Curriculum is being designed by asking how we can best prepare ourselves to solve the great universal problems that prevent us from realizing and enjoying all that is most important in life. Knowledge has not been enough; we need the broad scope, human perspective, and good judgment of wisdom.
Shih-Ying Yang writes: “In the last analysis, individual actualization of conceptions of wisdom in real life, and the positive impact of these wise decisions and actions, may be the vehicle of the advance of human civilizations.”
This curriculum is based on the simple premise: If folly brings us problems, then perhaps wisdom can bring us solutions. The goal of the curriculum is to help you develop a tough mind and a tender heart.
Pursuit of well-being is the unifying theme for these courses.
Please choose courses from this curriculum and study them in any order that suits your interests. The Living Wisely course calls on these courses in a particular sequence intended to allow each new course to build upon concepts learned from previous courses. The currently available courses are listed below in that sequence.
- The Virtues — Attaining intrinsically valuable character traits
- Unmasking the True Self — Exploring the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves
- Practicing Dialogue — Thinking Together
- What Matters — Identifying what is truly most significant to you, your family, community, nation, and world.
- Courses from the Clear Thinking curriculum. — Become more accurate and consistent in thinking.
- Facing Facts — Embracing Reality
- Evaluating Evidence — Seeking Reality
- Seeking True Beliefs — Excellence in the Quest for Knowledge
- Exploring Worldviews — Challenging our deeply embedded assumptions
- Deductive Logic — Tools for evaluating consistency
- Recognizing Fallacies — Describing inconsistencies
- Knowing How You Know — Developing and applying your own Theory of Knowledge.
- Socratic Methods — Seeking real good by questioning beliefs
- Beyond Theism — A real basis for hope
- Global Perspective — Applying our Wisdom to meet the Grand Challenges
- Pursuing Collective Wisdom — Improving collaborative decision making.
- Grand Challenges — The great problems and opportunities facing humanity
- Dignity — Improving our world by learning to preserve dignity for all people
- Wisdom — Choosing Humanity
- Assessing Human Rights — Essential protections for every person
- Living the Golden Rule — Treating others as you want to be treated
- Understanding the Golden Rule — Treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation.
- Understanding Fairness — Your interpretation of what is fair is likely to be arbitrary and biased.
- Transcending Conflict — Resolving contradictory goals
- Limits To Growth — Recognizing the earth is finite
- Envisioning Our Future — Describing your vision of our future.
- Doing Good — Take real good action
- A Quiet Mind — Controlling Discursive Thought; cultivating Pure Awareness
- Living Wisely — Enjoy seeking real good throughout your life.
- Natural Inclusion — Experiencing the world from nature.
Several of the courses in this applied wisdom curriculum assign essays to read as part of the course work. Those essays are listed here, in alphabetical order.
- Authentic Humility
- Being 99.9% Ignorant
- Beyond Olympic Gold
- Coping with Abundance
- Earth at One Billion
- Economic Faults
- From Demagoguery to Dialogue
- Genesis of Debt
- Height of the Eiffel Tower
- How can you change another person?
- One World
- Science is like a living tree
- Seeking Real Good
- Simply Priceless
- Spontaneous Conflict and Deliberate Restraint
- The World We Want in 2075
- Tobacco Road
- Toward a Global Perspective—seeing through illusion
- Transcending Dogma
- Tyranny of Evidence
- What Fish Don’t See
Proposed Courses yet to be Developed
Related Courses, still to be developed, include:
- Determining What is
- Logic and logical fallacies
- Theory of Knowledge This is now available as the course Knowing How You Know. This course covers many of the topics listed above.
- Street Epistemology Learning to conduct genuine conversations that examine the foundations of belief.
- Using the metric system
- Seeking Real Good
- Developing Accurate Empathy -- Why are they feeling that way?
- Systems Analysis
- Systems Design
- Problem Seeking
- Rational Decision making
- Critical thinking
- Root cause analysis
- Understanding Risk — Estimating likelihood and consequence.
- Problem solving
- Big History — An integrated history of the universe from the Big Bang to the present
- Emotional Competency
- Marriage Excellence
- The nature of social constructs
- Designing social constructs for greater well-being
- Debugging Social Constructs
- Money Architectures — exploring implications and alternatives to national fiat currencies.
- Collective Wisdom — This is now available as the course Pursuing Collective Wisdom.
- Forecasting using Bayes Theorem
- Inner Growth
- The wisdom of ubuntu.
- Biomimicry and sustainable design.
- Effecting change - How change propagates, or fails to propagate, through an organization or society.
- Influencing beliefs
You can help by becoming a student, improving the above list, or by developing one of these courses.
- Yang, Shih-Ying. 2001. “Conceptions of Wisdom Among Taiwanese Chinese.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 32(6), November:662-680.