Practical Wisdom

The Right Way to Do the Right Thing

by Barry Schwartz, Kenneth Sharpe

A reasoned yet urgent call to embrace and protect the essential, practical human quality that has been drummed out of our lives: wisdom.

It's in our nature to want to succeed. It's also human nature to want to do right. But we've lost how to balance the two. How do we get it back?

Practical Wisdom can help. "Practical wisdom" is the essential human quality that combines the fruits of our individual experiences with our empathy and intellect-an aim that Aristotle identified millennia ago. It's learning "the right way to do the right thing in a particular circumstance, with a particular person, at a particular time." But we have forgotten how to do this. In Practical Wisdom, Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe illuminate how to get back in touch with our wisdom: how to identify it, cultivate it, and enact it, and how to make ourselves healthier, wealthier, and wiser.

  • Penguin Publishing Group; December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781101475188
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Practical Wisdom
  • Author: Barry Schwartz; Kenneth Sharpe
  • Imprint: Riverhead Books

In The Press

"[Schwartz and Sharpe] have valid, thoughtful points to make... The world, especially the professional and institutional world, needs far more of this, the authors say... Everyone can see the value of practical wisdom." —The New York Times

"An important new book." —The Wall Street Journal

"[An] irresistible book, one that every politician, CEO, parent, and citizen in America should read." Chris Anderson, curator of TED conferences

About The Author

Barry Schwartz is the author of the acclaimed bestseller The Paradox of Choice. A frequent lecturer at conferences (TED, Gel, etc) around the world, he is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, specializing in Psychology and Economics.

Kenneth Sharpe is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College where he teaches political philosophy, ethics, and political economy. His most recent book is Drug War Politics: The Price of Denial.