On the schedule for Autumn 2018 at the University of Chicago is a new course for undergraduate and graduate students by our co-Principal Investigator Candace Vogler.
Annette Pierdziwol and Tim Smartt, two doctoral students who work with the Institute for Ethics and Society from Notre Dame University Australia, will join Vogler to observe the course with an eye toward implementing it in the new Business School at Notre Dame Australia.
PHIL24098/34098. Character and Commerce: Practical Wisdom in Economic Life. The operations of the global economy set the terms that most people live with every day of their lives. In the face of the vastness, movement, and variety of economic life, it can be hard to see how moral philosophy can intersect meaningfully with economic concerns. It is one thing to be worried about economic growth and development, sustainability, regulation, taxation, and the like—concerns with large-scale policy matters. It is quite another to reflect on individual conduct. In this course, we will look at one small aspect of the place of individual conduct in an economic landscape frequently dominated by large firms. As anyone who has spent time reading work by Immanuel Kant, say, or Thomas Aquinas, or a newspaper will know, human beings can act against their own better judgment. My better judgment can be better in any of the following senses: it can track what will be more advantageous for me, it can target more effective and efficient solutions to problems that I am charged with solving or helping to solve, or it can direct my actions and responses ethically. The ‘or’ is inclusive. Practical judgment brings a host of general considerations to bear on my circumstances. Practical wisdom is excellence in practical judgement. In this course, we will read empirical work on the systematic ways in which people fail to live up to their own ideals alongside philosophical work on practical wisdom, with an eye toward exploring ways of cultivating practical wisdom. Our cases and examples will be drawn from studies of corporate life and economic decision-making. But the lessons we will hope to learn are more generally applicable.