Jason Swartwood Wisdom

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Wisdom is a bit of an elusive topic. There seems to be a general consensus of what counts as wisdom, however, when asked for a definition ‘acting with regards to knowledge and understanding’ is commonly used. While this definition is certainly workable, it does not go very deep into this vast concept. How exactly do knowledge and understanding interact to reach the level of wisdom? There is not a whole lot of work done analyzing the process of acting wisely. One such attempt is made by Jason Swartwood, who claims that wisdom can be thought of as an expert skill. He claims that wisdom is the same kind of epistemic achievement as expert decision-making. This approach to wisdom allows for interesting insight into this topic and can begin to look …show more content…

The argument concerns itself with the concept of understanding how to conduct oneself. He states, “A person understands how to conduct herself in a domain D when, for a broad range of situations in D, she grasps reasons for action relevant to responding successfully in those situations “ (Swartwood, 514). The specific wording of ‘grasping’ is intentional in order to pick out a cognitive accomplishment. In order to be able to do this, Swartwood provides two main types of reasons one can grasp given a situation. These two reasons are success reasons and self-regulative reasons. That is, one can either identify reasons to perform an action based on the action being able to achieve a goal that would be classified as a success in the specific domain. If a chess player chooses to make a move that would win them the game, they would have identified this choice as a way to achieve the goal of check mating the opponent. This goal is a bit clearer of a success in that it results in the chess player winning the game, however, one big component is that this success reason cannot be identified accidentally or through the means of luck. This success reason must be identified by oneself. The other type of reason is a self-regulative reason. These are internal obstacles, which would be problematic to achieve these goals that constitute a success. An example with a chess player would be recognizing …show more content…

One of the more pressing questions is the ability to identify wisdom. Identifying wisdom is something that is fairly common among people even without such in depth knowledge. Along the lines of identifying wisdom, how do heuristics play into this discussion? Heuristics are any sort of approach to solving a problem that is sufficient in achieving immediate goals. Typically when applied to games, they are approaches at playing in the most optimal fashion in the widest variety of scenarios. One of the great things about heuristics is that it is not always necessary for these heuristics to be developed by an individual and can be passed to people who may be very new to these situations or scenarios. Someone fairly new to the game of chess could be given a set of heuristics with which to play by such that they could fair very well in the tournament. There are a couple main components to the notion of heuristics, which could cause interesting cases under Swartwood’s account for wisdom. This beginning chess player could very well appear to be acting wisely in this tournament, but would they actually acting wisely? The first aspect of heuristics is their ability to achieve short-term goals. Now the part of Swartwood’s argument that this would focus on is the domain in which his argument is concerned and the ability to grasp success reasons to perform an

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