Are Your Political Opponents Crazy? –

From the ‘stone’ in NYT.  Gary Gutting uses the distinction between Sophia and Phronesis to tell us when to call our ‘political opponent crazy.’

My point can also be helpfully expressed in some terminology due to Aristotle. Sophia (roughly, theoretical knowledge), he says, grasps universal truths, whereas phronesis (roughly, good practical judgment) is required to properly apply these truths to particular instances.  Although Aristotle might disapprove, we members of a deeply pluralistic society need to admit the availability of diverse, even conflicting sources of sophia — the rival pictures I’ve been talking about.  Discussions about the theoretical truth of pictures are important, but of little immediate value in the trenches of practical policy-making.

Policy-making does, however require Aristotelian phronesis, particularly in the form of an ability to recognize salient facts that require invoking the exception-clause of a guiding picture.  When participants in a political dispute show themselves to lack phronesis, then we are entitled to judge them irrational.

via Are Your Political Opponents Crazy? –


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About Irfan

I am an independent researcher and blogger interested in everything under the sun, but more so in the philosophy and history of education and education reform generally, and specifically in the so-called post colonial contexts

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