Sep 21, 2022
In this episode I speak with two psychologists, Paul McLaughlin PsyD and Mark R. McMinn PhD, about their book A Time for Wisdom. The provide a unique perspective by examining wisdom from a psychological viewpoint.
They divide it into 4 categories, both to explain and provide a guide to develop wisdom in our lives.
Factual Knowledge,Know-How, self-knowledge and what they call “Enriched Knowledge,” the core of wisdom.
Not only from material things, but from ideas and ideology. Detachment enables mental freedom, strengthens our capacity grieve, and is the bridge between knowledge and tranquility
Not apathy, but shifting our inner equilibrium, and helps us regulate our emotions
Tranquility helps us to cultivate awe, gratitude, peace, and what C.S. Lewis calls “reasonable emotions.”
Ability to go beyond ourselves and avoid the temptation to individualism
We discuss a number of themes including:
Is wisdom a state or a trait? Can it be developed? Is it domain dependent?
The tension between solidity and fluidity, between rigid thinking and relativism. How do we keep our minds open and not fall into what Benedict XVI has called the “dictatorship of relativism.”
The positive and negative parts of Jordan Peterson’s idea about exploring our dark side compared to mystical Catholic writers
Psychedelics as ersatz religion
You are not every thought you have
Obsessive Compulsive thoughts
Forgiveness and the goodness of being
Mike Tyson’s theory that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
How to think about increases anxiety and depression
My critique of the Individualism / Collectivism dichotomy
Tocqueville’s analysis of individualism and centralization
Can you measure wisdom?
Does wisdom increase over time?
Aristotle’s concept of phronesis
Gnosticism and Materialism as an obstacles to wisdom
Teleology — ends and purposes. Aristotle — the human person has an end and purpose to give you self direction
Transcendentals — goodness, truth, beauty
How suffering and sitting with people who suffer helps us grow in wisdom
The tension between holding onto your deeply held beliefs and yet remaining open to new ideas
Confirmation Bias vs. Epistemic Humility