Ep. 39 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - The Religion of No Religion | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Ep. 39 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - The Religion of No Religion".

1970-01-01T08:42:21.000Z

Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Welcome back to Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. So last time I was making a proposal to you of how we could address the perennial problems and I gave you a systematic set of things that could be cultivated in an integrated fashion for addressing perennial problems. And then we saw how that interacts with our attempts to ameliorate and alleviate the perennial problems interact with the historical forces in that we get the fundamental undermining of meaning in life and that problem set by wolf. And then I proposed to you that there was a response to that in terms of the notion of agape. And then I moved into the direct addressing of the historical forces looking about for recovery of something like what the three orders did for us. And then I proposed to you that if we took a look at 4E cognitive science, third generation cog-sci and in particular some of the insights afforded from that by -- sort of insights afforded by 4E cognitive science, third generation cog-sci that were pointed out by Verrella in his article, we can see a ways in which we can get a worldview that strongly situates our meaning-making processes within it, legitimates it. We talked about how we can recover something like the nomological order and the normative order and how perhaps we can move to something post-narrative, an open-ended optimization that is seeking for a depth of realization rather than a historical combination. And I proposed to you bringing with it the notion that good in bringing with that whole project of responding to the historical forces and trying to bring with it a new notion from a good enough work on transcendence into rather than transcendence above or beyond and how that is resonant and consonant with the picture that we've been working on together. A couple things remain that are central. One of course is to give an account, a cognitive scientific account of wisdom because of the wisdom framing that is needed for both the cultivation of the responses to the meaning crisis and the use of interpretation of grasping the significance of the cognitive scientific framework. So we need to develop an account of wisdom together.


Understanding Cognitive Science And Wisdom

Why Cognitive Science of Wisdom (03:33)

And I also said we need to talk about this notion of getting something that's a religion that's not a religion and what might that look like. So I want to address the second point first because I have left to say about it not because it's not important. I have left to say about it because it's very tentative and I want to try and talk about it in ultimately a suggestive fashion. I'm not trying to found a movement or anything ridiculous or pretentious like that. There are many people though who are writing books about this idea. I recommend you John Kars' book, The Religious Case Against Belief. I already recommended. There's Unger's book on future religion. There's books like Religion for Atheists in which people are I think, and I mean this in a serious sense, but they're trying to play with what would this might look like a religion that's not a religion and how can it help us to address it. Some people like Richard Dawkins are trying to propose that we should cultivate an ability, ultimately poetic ability to engender wonder and awe that is consonant with the scientific worldview. So a lot of people are trying to get some conceptual vocabulary and theoretical grammar going for this. So I do not see myself as offering anything definitive or authoritative, but on the basis of what we have done together I'd like to try and offer some suggestions of what this would look like. So remember, why are we setting this problem? We, for many of us, the group that I self-identify as the nuns having no religion, nevertheless a large majority of those people are still spiritually hungry in important ways. Returning to organized religion is not a viable option, and part of that has to do with a lot of the history that we've traced out.


One gander mythological age (05:55)

And pursuing pseudo-religious political ideologies in utopic visions is also not viable precisely because of the trauma of the 20th century and parts of the 21st century in the clash of the pseudo-religious ideologies and the way they drenched the world with blood and torture and horror. And so I propose to you that nevertheless we need to do something like what religion used to do. We need a comprehensive set of psychotechnologies that are set within communities of society. The kinds of practices that allow for the comprehensive transformations of consciousness, cognition, character and culture in a way that is analogous to religion. That is what we're looking for, something they can do all of that because that is what we need, that kind of transformation is needed today to address what Thomas Bjorkman calls the metacrisis of all the various crises that we are facing and that are interacting with each other and what looks to be an increasingly accelerating fashion and having an increasingly deleterious effect on us individually and collectively. So that is part of the problem and what would it look like with the religion that is not a religion. Again, as I said, there are many people who are taking a stab at this or trying to get a grip on this and so I am just seeing myself as contributing to hopefully to that, hopefully hopefully to that dialogue. So part of it I think is, and this is of course what I tried to do, is to acknowledge the centrality of religio and that there is important, there's an important role for indispensable mythos in the activation, accentuation, acceleration, appreciation of religio. So I think that is something that should be acknowledged as what we would be looking for and this brings out an important contrast I want to discuss. So let's talk about this a little bit and try and get clearer about it because we have this idea of an open-ended mythos analogous to the transgressive mythology of the Gnostics. So credo of course means I believe and it's the word behind things like the Nicene Creed or the Apostolic Creed. A notion of credo is a notion of sort of a paradigmatic set of propositions that state what the essence of a religion is in terms of the truth content that is supposed to be believed. And so what has happened to some degree in various ways, and I tried to show you this, is as this is of course is linked to propositional knowing and as propositional knowing has come into ascendance, and as the having mode has come into ascendance, the halving of propositions that are asserted, and of course willful assertion, as all of this has come into ascension, this has tended to become dominant. So as I've mentioned we often think about religions or speak of them as if they are belief systems, systems of belief. And so you have propositional knowing, you have the halving of those propositions and the way you have them is ultimately to assert them in some fashion. Usually in a willful fashion where I mean that very broadly in the way we've discussed here where it is not something that is ultimately derived from reason, but it is something that is being asserted nevertheless. Now, I think there's an important role for credo, and so I want to make a distinction between credo and this credo right assertion credo dominance. So let's talk about this set of things as credo dominance. But let's talk about perhaps a way of understanding the functionality of this. Now first of all, I'm of course aware of the postmodern critique, and I will have a final, because the final end of this series I'll come back and talk about postmodernism. But I'm aware of the postmodern critique in that a lot of this is, and that makes sense, given credo dominance, that this is a mashed with power, with dominance, with control, with creating sort of purity codes where we have boundaries of identity of the us and the other, all of that I think is a legitimate form of argument and something I take seriously. But I would put that under credo dominance and I would want to try and take out what remains, what function can we see for people doing this and how might we understand it. Well first of all, like I said, we can think of people having paradigmatic statements and pictures that this might be a function of indispensable to them. So they can understand it as indispensable. Mythos, again, it's highly plausible that there is a mythos for you or for groups of people that is indispensable given the contextual sensitivity, the dynamic coupling of religio, that there's a sets of symbols and stories and celebrations and shows and souvenirs and all the things associated with mythos that are indispensable for getting the kind of sacredness out of religio that people want and need in response to, for example, the perennial problems. So again, this of course is part of the philosophical reason, not just there's also an independent moral reason, but this is part of my philosophical reason why I try to be deeply respectful to religious creeds, precisely because even though I think all of these criticisms or all the criticisms associated with this, criticisms that I've added to in this series, I think they're all legitimate, I think this is also a very legitimate thing. Now of course the problem is to confuse in dispensability with metaphysical necessity and to confuse need with authority and we've talked about all of that.


The Simulating Understanding of the Will (14:19)

What I think we can think of this is not only in dispensability that's idiosyncratic to people or the group, we can also talk about an indispensable functionality that might be more universal in nature. And this has to do with a basic idea from all of information processing, from what's called signal detection theory. So signal detection theory is a theory that basically argues that we're always facing perennial problems when, and I mean that to allude to the perennial problems that I've talked about here. Whenever we're doing information processing, there's aspects in which the information is, and this is no contradiction, there's simultaneously too much information, but there's often inadequate information, like you're not seeing all of my body right now.


It ShareIntelligence, Starting Over (15:09)

So the information is simultaneously overwhelming and partial. The information is often ambiguous. It's unclear if that information is the information you need or you're being misled in some way by information that's similar but not in the relevant way to the information you're looking for. So all of these things point to an important general conclusion. Now I'm going to have to use two terms here. I'm going to use the word signal and this means information I want. Information I want or need. And then noise, noise does not mean audible distortion. Audible distortion is one kind of a, what this means is this means information I do not want. Right? It's in some way distracting. Right? It's in some way misleading, etc. So here's the idea. Here's the population of events that constitute signal that you're looking for. And the idea is there's always a significant overlap with noise. Again, where noise doesn't mean audible distortion, it means any information that you don't want, that it can be confused with, look at confused with, can be confused with signal. So let's take a prototypical example. Right? A typical example is this, you're a gazelle and you hear a noise in the bush. Now that could be important signal. It could be information that you want because it's information telling you that a leopard is near. Or the noise in the bush could be noise in this technical sense. It could just be the rustling of the leaves caused by the wind. And that is, and this is the important term here, that's irrelevant to you. That's irrelevant to you. That might be signal for somebody else or something else, but for you as the gazelle, it's irrelevant. See, being signal and noise, of course, is a matter of relevance realization. So you're sort of caught here. Because if you're the gazelle, what you're experiencing is this, this zone right here. Right? This zone of overlap between the signal and the noise. You don't know what it is. Now what you can say is, well what I'll do is I'll get more information. And there's a sense in which that helps, but you have to also understand that there's a diminishing return here. Because any new information that I try to get to resolve this will also suffer from this problem. And this of course goes again towards, you can't ultimately get certainty, etc. Also the more I regress and try to get signal about my signal, about my signal, the more time I'm taking and often time is an important constraint. So first of all, you can't ever escape this problem. And as you try to reduce it, you have to put in a lot of time and effort that can ultimately be too costly for you. So the idea is there's a sense in which every act, even an act of perception is to some degree risky. It's a gamble. This is part again, and we talked about this, Tim Littlecrap, Blake Richards, and I in the paper on relevance realization, this is part again of the issue of trading off between various contingencies. What's the tradeoff here?


Tradeoffs (19:25)

Well, the tradeoff is I have to, I have to what's called do, I have to set the criterion. So the criterion is basically what I do is I put a dividing line, a decision line, remember decide ultimately means to cut, and I'm going to include everything to the left as signal and exclude everything to the right. Now what's the problem with that? Well the problem with that is, well, of course, I'm now opening myself up to different kinds of errors. So one of the things I can do here is if I set my criterion too high, for example, I will include a lot, I will treat a lot of noise as signal. If I set my criterion way down here, I don't want to ever be wrong, I'm going to set my criterion really low, right? I'm going to set my, that way I'll never, the problem is if I set my criterion so I exclude all possible noise, I'm going to miss a lot of valuable signal. The other issue that comes up, so where do you set the criterion? Well, I mean there isn't an algorithm for that because part of the problem is those different kinds of errors are differentially relevant to you depending on the context. So let's go back to the gazelle. You have two gazels. You have Bill the Happy Gazelle and what Bill wants to do is basically, right, wants to avoid leopards, right? So Bill says, well, I'm going to set my criterion very high because that way most of the time I'm going to treat the noise as a leopard in the bush and that way my chances of missing a leopard are very small. Now the problem with Bill is he runs away a lot. There's every wind and he runs away and all the other gazels laugh at Bill. Look at Bill, he's running around again and if Bill does this too much of course it's exhausting, right? Now in contrast to Bill the gazelle, there is, you know, let's call it Tom and Tom is the really epistemically oriented gazelle. Tom will only act on the basis of what Tom truly believes and so Tom is going to be very skeptical and set their criterion very low and Tom says, I'm only going to believe what I'm really confident in and certain of, right, and that way, you know, this is what's going to happen. So what happens for Tom is all the instances where the wind is blowing and Bill runs away, Tom laughs at Bill, aha, aha, silly Bill. The problem is Tom is missing signal by setting his criterion so low and one of these times there's a noise in the bush, Bill runs, Tom begins to laugh and as he's mid-laugh there is a leopard on his back sinking its jaws in a death grip on his neck because you see in this context, not in all contexts, not in all contexts, but in this context, missing signal is much worse than mistaking noise for signal. See there's two kinds of errors. I can miss signal, I can mistake noise for signal. When I do this, right, that's Bill, everybody laughs at me. That's a cost and I'm using a lot of energy, but if I miss, right, if I miss the leopard, I'm dead and that's much, much worse. So that's why most gazelles are like Bill rather than like Tom. They set the criterion way over here. They're willing to make a lot of mistakes so that they do not make very many misses.


The Job of Consciousness (24:15)

Now there's other situations where you write whether to be reversed, where a mistake is much more costly to you than a miss. So what you need, right, what you need is you need to be flexibly setting your criterion in a way that is deeply contextually sensitive, deeply situationally aware. This is again why perspectival knowing is so crucial. Social knowing is your situational awareness and your situational awareness should be, right, your primary guide to what is the context and how do I set the criterion in this context. In fact, there's a neuroscientist, cognitive scientist, Lau, who argues that one of the functions of consciousness is exactly to set the criterion for perception. So what you're paying attention to, right, is how you're situationally aware and so how you're paying attention, how you're situationally aware, how you're setting the criterion is actually the job of consciousness. Now as you may realize and myself and Richard Wu and Anderson Todd argued, this again is another argument that one of the main functions of consciousness is to do relevance realization within perspectival knowing, yet another converging argument. Now the point about this is two things and both of them have to be remembered. What does this have to do with credo? Well, I would argue that what credo is is credo is setting the criterion on religio. What it's trying to do is determine what behaviors, what things are putting me really into contact with religio and then what is malfunctional, what is mad, etc. Now the issue is we have to set the criterion that's inescapable and one way to do this is to do it in an absolutist way. One way to do this is to say there is a final way, a final place, an absolute place to set the criterion. I think you can see from the argument given here why that is a perilous thing to do. You can see again why the open-endedness of relevance realization undermines the attempt to absolutely set the criterion. So you have to set the criterion but it is dangerous to set the criterion in an absolute fashion. So if we can acknowledge this, we can acknowledge that we will set the criterion with our myth oss and that's one half of credo but we should not ever try to set the criterion in an absolute or final manner which is what happens in credo dominance because that is ultimately to misunderstand the functionality of setting the criterion.


Credo (27:23)

The point is not to set the criterion conclusively, the point is to continually reset the criterion optimally. Again, open-ended relevance realization rather than a final solution. So a way of thinking about that is the religion of not, that's not a religion would always, always have credo in the service of a religious. Now I'm sure that there are many religious people that say well that is what we do in practice and we have our credes but they are constantly being historically interpreted. And I think that is sort of right in practice but there has often been a lot of conflict between de facto in du jour in the history of the religious discussions around orthodoxy and cred et cetera. And I point to you again to the work of Arthur Versluis and his work on the way in which the west history of pursuing and persecuting heretics, people who do not set the criterion as we do has actually helped to foreshadow and train the west for totalitarian regimes and totalitarian ideologies. So I point you again to his historical argument for how that came about.


Totalitarianism (29:21)

So for that reason we should always be thinking of making credo clearly and comprehensively always in the service of religio. That would be helped as you can I think see by being linked to a notion of sacredness as being grounded in an inexhaustible open ended optimization rather than in some absolute state of perfection. Next I think that the religion that is not a religion should when it is crafting its mythos and understanding that credo is always in the service of religio it should always understand the mythos as being beholden to sort of the three levels that we have been talking about here. So you have the unconscious level. This is the level at which relevance realization is taking place. Most of the relevance realization that is going on for me I do not have introspective access to in any way and this of course is the grounding of my participatory knowing. Of course you can become conscious of your participation but that is what I am saying here.


The Higher Levels of Cognition (31:10)

I am saying that the processes from which I emerge as an autobiographical ego and the world emerges as an unfolding arena are ultimately below the level of consciousness and that is where the participatory knowing is happening. And then of course there is the level of consciousness and this is the level of salience landscaping and of course this is the level of perspectival knowing. The perspectival knowing is grounded in the participatory and the perspectival knowing with the situational awareness that I have just talked about of course makes possible the procedural knowing. These are tightly intermeshed as well. This is where I am right consciously directing my interactions in order to appropriate affordances given to me at this level and I am appropriating those affordances by cultivating skills so that my coping turns into skillful interaction. My coping caring becomes skillful action and apt sensibility and then of course this passes into the cultural level. This is the level of distributed cognition. This is the level at which we are trying to communicate. So this is the level at which connections are being made. This is the level at which connections are being sensed and internalized and then this is the level at which connections are being shared. And so what we have here of course is the whole machinery of mythos and of course the machinery of science and other things such as that but I am going to although that is at the cultural level I am taking it out because what I am going to concentrate on here is addressing this. So as I said this will pick up on our propositional knowing but of course the mythos also points down towards right all of these because here we have credo in the service of religio. And so any mythos is going to understand itself this way if I put it horizontally as always in the service of religio which means it is always going to also be directed if you will allow me downwards right to the procedural knowing, the perspectival knowing and the participatory knowing.


Ecology of practices to match procedure, perspectives, and participatory (34:08)

So it should be a mythos that is explicitly committed to both of those in an integrated fashion that the credo, the paradigmatic propositions, the paradigmatic pictures right are always in the service of religio and that the mythos therefore is directed towards accessing, activating, accentuating, appreciating the procedural knowing, the perspectival knowing, the participatory knowing. So it should be given the argument, oh it is very tentative here. What it should be doing is once you've got this programmatic framework in mind then what it should be doing is cultivating an ecology of psychotechnologies. An ecology that is designed to be both top down it reaches from the propositional down to the participatory but also is open to and allows bottom up emergence from the participatory up through the perspectival, through the procedural and into the propositional. So I tried to indicate to you what that ecology should look like. You should be setting up psychotechnologies, sets of practices and cognitive styles that have complementary relationships to each other that have sets of corresponding checks and balances, strengths and weaknesses so that you have a dynamical system that is reliably complexifying in a reliably self-correcting manner which means we need to do something very important. And this is an idea that emerged in a discussion with Jordan Hall and he put it this way, I think which is a very interesting way of putting it. We need a meta psychotechnology that is designed to give us, move us out of the intuitive construction of psychotechnologies into the more explicit, so two points here, the more explicit creation of psychotechnologies and explicitly the task of trying to cultivate an ecology of more explicitly engineered psychotechnologies. So this would be the meta psychotechnology. So this religion that is not a religion should give people ways of cultivating this meta psychotechnology as a way of crafting the ecology of practices for addressing the perennial problems in a way that is always constant and coherent with world view attunement. I think that there are deep connections between the capacity for collectively creating the meta and you have to do this collectively because that's how psychotechnologies are created. The capacity for creating this collectively and the individual virtue, meta virtue, because that's what it is, the meta virtue of wisdom, there's deep connections for that. The more the people are individually cultivating because wisdom is basically a way of cultivating and coordinating the individual virtues, we'll come back to that. So you need individual wisdom, the meta virtue in order to collectively pursue the creation and the ongoing cultivation of the meta psychotechnology that will allow us to engineer individual psychotechnologies and to cultivate a ecology of psychotechn that reaches comprehensively down to our participatory knowing and affords comprehensively the emergence up from our participatory knowing. So I think those are some very general structural features.


Example: personal experience with asking my students to create a credo along these lines (39:34)

Some things we might be wanting to do at a more organizational level is, and this is extremely tentative, extremely. So what might it be to create that open-ended credo? Well we have something like that already because of the emergence of the cyber technologies that are being increasingly integrated with the psychotechnologies. And I'm using this just as an analogy, but we have something like Wikipedia. And what's interesting about the Wikipedia is the way it's generated, the way it's maintained, the way it's revised. It's done in this collective cooperative fashion and it has both a quite reliable stability, but also a quite reliable evolution. And what's interesting is I've recently with the work of Konstantinos Zaneyov created something like this for one of my courses. And what we did there in one of the courses at the university is got former students to basically create a wiki of some of the main ideas, main themes, main arguments in the course. And what happens is people of course get much more involved in a participatory fashion with the generation of sort of the credo for the course. And what they also do is they create something like the Wikipedia that gives people much more interactional and evolving content to work with. So you get sort of this presentation of what's paradigmatic and prototypical for the course, but in this collective, dynamic and ongoing fashion. So perhaps we could think about creating a credo analogous to that where we create something like a wiki, a credo wiki for example, by which groups of people that are interested in creating ecologies of practices and psychotechnologies can communicate with each other for how to adaptively set the criterion and how to constantly re-engineer the creation of the meta-psychotechnology that will help to guarantee, maybe that's too strong a word, help to promote, reliably promote both the bottom up and top down functionality of this ecology of psychotechnology. Maybe that could be set in conjunction with a co-op structure of these various communities where they are co-opting together to create a shared curriculum, a shared credo in this wiki manner and which they are also trying to afford a kind of synoptic integration, a shared vocabulary not imposed as an ideology, but to allow for transformative and bridging insights and discourse between the various groups so that they might be able to afford each other's development and enhancement. Now, as I've said, all of that is not presenting a utopic vision. That's not what's going on. What's going on is people are already doing this. They are already trying to create these ecologies of practices. They're trying to create ways of talking to each other, setting the criterion, and they're making use of social media. They're making use of the internet. They're making use of cooperative dynamic forms of social organization. I think all of those could be appropriated in a way to help bring about this religion that's not a religion. What I've tried to do is offer some suggestions on things to keep in mind and at least some potential methods for helping to bring this about. Whether or not this functions, whether or not any of this takes root, again, it's not even up to me. I'm not some sort of lynchpin or pivotal figure. I'm just trying, this sounds so insufficient. I'm just trying to help. I'm really just trying to help and I want to give people some way of how to go about starting to make this work more and more powerfully and perspicaciously. I have tried to show how in three interrelated ways we can respond to the meaning crisis. I've tried to show that there are sets of practices that we can cultivate as an ecology for addressing the perennial problems.


Field projects (45:57)

We can set those perennial problems into a legitimating worldview via the theoretical scientific machinery given to us by third generation cognitive science for e-cognitive science. And then all of that can be set practically within the project of trying to bring about the religion that is not a religion. In terms of, like I said, some suggestions about some structural features of what we're looking for and some organizational features of how to try and initiate that and get that going. This is ultimately going to come back to the dialogue that I'm going to set up between what I've argued for here and some of the other prophets of this religion beyond a religion that's not a religion like Tillick, Jung, I would argue also Corbin and perhaps aspects of Barfield. And the godfather of all of that of course is people like Heidegger. So that's going to be something we're going to come back to. But we need to do something else now that I've constantly been putting aside because it also is going to be involved in the process that I have been proposing to you. And we've set it throughout which is the cultivation of wisdom. And as we've seen, the cultivation of wisdom as a meta virtue is deeply resonant with the communitas cultivation of the meta psychology that is needed for the ecology of psychotechnology. And of course wisdom is also needed for the project of enlightenment, as I've already mentioned. And finally, wisdom has always been associated since the Axial Revolution with satisfying those deep connectedness. The connectedness to oneself, the connectedness to the world, the connectedness to others that makes for a meaningful life. So I want to start talking now about the cognitive science of wisdom. And again, this is a very exciting and hot area in cognitive science. There's lots going on about this right now. And it's becoming very, very pervasive. And the discussion of wisdom in the culture at large is coming to the fore again. So I mean, I would like to have a series at some point that's just on wisdom. I can't do that right now. What I want to do is try and give again sort of a very quick overview of sort of the key players, if you'll allow serious players, in the cognitive science of wisdom business. And what we can glean from that and how we can integrate it into the model and picture we've been building here.


The Philosophy And Insight On Wisdom

Going back to philosophy (49:37)

So this really took off in the 1990s with an anthology by Robert Sternberg. The psychologist Robert Sternberg has done a tremendous amount of work to bring back the notion of wisdom within psychology, within cognitive science in general, even within pedagogy and the understanding of education. And that anthology really started to bring out some of the initial work that was being done, the seminal work, and also promote a lot of work that has expanded since on this. I want to talk about work that was happening at around the same time as this shortly thereafter. So the Sternberg, the first Sternberg anthology on wisdom, there's been another one since. The wisdom handbook was in 1990. And then what I consider a really important article came out in 1999 by McGee and Barber.


Im later, wisdom is all about avoiding illusion. (50:50)

It was important because it was basically retrospective reflection on sort of the first decade of work on wisdom. But it was doing something more than that. So it was definitely doing that retrospective, but it was also doing something very important. Something that is so resonant with what we've been doing here together. Because what they wanted to do was they wanted to try and link two things together in a very powerful convergence argument. They wanted to look at all of what they call the a priori theories of wisdom. Our way of understanding that I think is very easy just by seeing what they looked at. They wanted to look at all the philosophical theories. And we've looked at quite a few of them. So we have an understanding of what they're talking about. We saw the Socratic theory and the Aristotelian and the Stoic, right, and the Platonic. So you have the philosophical theories of wisdom. And of course that's appropriate because philosophy is the love of wisdom. But they also wanted to look at, right, and they're then about 15 years because the anthology comes out in 1990. Some work had been going on in the 80s and then it starts to really take off. But you've got the psychological theories. Right? Now these are very conceptually driven. They're very sort of top down. These are much more empirically driven. Bottom up. And what they were trying to do was they're trying to set up basically a reflective equilibrium between them. They're trying to find, they're trying to find, through a coordinated investigation, a convergent theme, both from all of the philosophical work and all of the psychological work. So looking at all of the philosophical work, what does it converge on? Same thing with the psychological work and then can we draw it all together in a, in a reflectively coherent fashion. And they did. They make a very powerful argument. They go through and they make an argument that what all of these theories converge on is seeing through illusion. That the core of wisdom is the ability to see through illusion. Where this means of course much more broadly. They're not meaning primarily here visual illusion. They're meaning, cognitive and existential illusion that is caused by self deception. So seeing through this. And they, and of course, because wisdom is a systematic notion, and this is something they are going to explicitly argue about, this is systematically. So not just this illusion or this self deception, but a systematic seeing through of self deception. And then in something that Leo and I published in Leo Ferrara and I published in 2013, we argued that this of course has a strong implication that should be filled out here. Seeing through illusion and into some sense of what's reality or at least what's more real. Because you can only know if you're seeing through illusion if you come to something that you regard as being less illusory in nature. So this is directly the systematic right seeing through illusion and into reality.


The Insight About Seeing Through Illusions (54:50)

Now notice what this is. This is a very profound meaning both deep and pervasive meaning across many different instances of where you're trying to solve your problems achieving a goal. This is a very profound kind of insight. It's a systematic insight that we talked about when we talked about higher states of consciousness. And we'll see that McGinn Barber are using exactly this idea. It's to find across many areas in which you have been misframing problems, to see them to realize them as systematically related such that you can come up with an insight that intervenes not just on this problem but in all of these problems in a systematic fashion and thereby you start to see systematically through illusion and into what is more real. So this is a key idea as to what you're trying to cultivate when you cultivate wisdom.


Self Honesty And Reflection

Be honest With Yourself (55:52)

And what we're going to do next time is we're going to continue to look at, we're going to follow this about putting the psychological theories and the philosophical theories into dialogue and to right continue developing. What is it that we're talking about when we're talking about wisdom and relatedly what is it we're doing when we're proposing the cultivation of wisdom. Thank you very much for your time and attention.


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