We Need to Talk (More Wisely) About Wisdom: A set of conversations about wisdom, science, and futures.

Ramírez, Rafael, Ravetz, Jerome, Sharpe, Bill and Varley, Leila (2019) We Need to Talk (More Wisely) About Wisdom: A set of conversations about wisdom, science, and futures. Futures. (Accepted)

[img] PDF
Restricted to Repository staff only until 21 February 2021.

Download (324kB)


This paper is a structured dialogue between the four authors on the question “what might constitute wisdom for the future?” With each author exploring a distinct but related angle we first consider four aspects: The traditional view of wisdom linked to philosophy and the humanities and how the development and subsequent crisis of science has eroded this; how knowledge and wisdom differ and how embracing complexity might be required to make wise decisions; how wise decisions can be contradictory across different ‘levels’ and how it might be possible to navigate these differences; and how wisdom involves balancing learning from the past whilst being open to the future. The second part of the paper entails reflections and comments on each of these four aspects done by two of the authors on the inputs by the other two, and vice-versa. In the third section, we share views on how wisdom is linked to action; and to decision-making and even reflection; and not just to knowledge. In assessing what constitutes wisdom for the future, our conversation suggests it is important to acknowledge and address the crises science is currently undergoing. This includes practices which embrace uncertainty, ignorance and complexity. We discuss three approaches which can be deployed, alone or together, to that effect. They are scenario planning as a tool to contemplate multiple possibilities and navigate the future; Post-Normal Science as a theory for understanding uncertainty; and hosting and supporting more meaningful and more courageous conversations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Futures, Wisdom, Post-normal science, Scenario planning, Dialogue
Subject(s): Scenario & Futures research
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 16:02
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2019 10:45
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/7308

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View