I honestly beleive that neither of the candidates would be capable of having a debate on wisdom, however it would be a very interesting debate to watch and would show the nation a lot more about who is more capable of running this country then a debate between the two about politics.
Obama has an academic background, so I think he could say a bit about wisdom. Ryan also seems to have had an interest in philosophy, albeit that of Ayn Rand. I’m not sure about Romney-he does hold advanced degrees but seems to have had some trouble with applied wisdom lately. But, it would certainly be interesting to see a discussion of the actual principles and philosophies rather than the usual sound bites and rhetoric.
That is a fascinating challenge.
I will say that an academic background does not necessarily beget wisdom, as Socrates himself showed rather well.
Another thing that Socrates showed well was that pinning down a definition of wisdom could be a pretty slippery proposition in itself.
Socrates’ challenge to reflect on the soul initiated the tradition of freedom in education as education!
True, an academic background does not entail one is wise.
Indeed. Once upon a time I was a practicing electronics engineer. We had a noise problem. I knew where it was but Management didn’t believe me. So they got in an academic who calculated the contributions of all the bits I had designed and concluded ‘they were not the problem’
I said ‘I knew that two weeks ago, because if you remove the bit that I didn’t design, the noise goes away’
Practical experience and common sense and a bit of rote learning will enable most averagely intelligent people to solve problems that have been solved before.
You only need an academic to solve problems that have never been solved before, and often they get that wrong, too.
You may be able to answer questions that have not been asked before, but often the questions don’t get asked until after the sorry events have happened.
HRH QE II is reputed to have asked post the bank crash ‘why didn’t anyone see this coming?’ The answer being they were looking in a different direction.
No, to a Socratic debate in politics. First, the candidates are being asked to prove the others ignorance. That becomes rude and pointless. Second, politicians have already being doing this for some time. Listen to the hoots and catcalls in government house.
Instead, the philosophical challenge is to propose alternative methods of candidate debate. One thing that could be done is for the candidates to focus on issues rather than the others ignorance.
Being British and therefore an outsider on US politics it is not for me to comment on the Presidential Election. However what I will say from the media snippets that come through and atempting to look through the veneer of politspeek Mitt Romney does not seem to have a full grasp of the political process, positioning and policy making.
Or may be his comments on US citizens who pay income tax or not, whether you like his particular attitude or not, whilst at first seeming to be a political mistake may infact instead be a masterpiece in shoring up his own vote and securing enough of the undecided who are going through tough times of late.
To the specific Socratic question who is to say who is the most noble or the most wise. It is a question of individual opinion based upon individual experience.
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