Pursuing Collective Wisdom

I am pleased to announce availability of a new on-line course titled “Pursuing Collective Wisdom”.

This is the newest offering in the Wikiversity Applied Wisdom curriculum, and is freely available to anyone with an Internet connection.

The course builds on the previously published “Collective Wisdom Index Alpha” and incorporates improvements suggested by many helpful GC member comments on that earlier effort.

CFP: Can Collective Wisdom Save Civilization? [Abstracts deadline: April 1, 2014]

Dear All,

I’ve just stumbled upon a CFP that may be of interest Circle-wise. The core topic of this year’s conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations is the question “Can Collective Wisdom Save Civilization?,” which is essentially a question of a global philosophy in its truest sense, that is, loving and embracing wisdom on a global scale.

You can read the call below. The closing date for abstracts submission is April 1, 2014 so we still have reasonable time to think things over.

Best,

Ádám

P.S. I was somewhat unsure how to categorize this post, so sorry in advance if I’ve made any mess with it.

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Call for Papers

Theme: Can Collective Wisdom Save Civilization?
Type: 44th Annual Conference
Institution: International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations, Monmouth University
Location: West Long Branch, NJ (USA)
Date: 11.–15.6.2014
Deadline: 1.4.2014

The Theme for 2014 is “Can Collective Wisdom Save Civilization?”. The conference will be held at Monmouth University on the New Jersey shore, a lively, scenic location with the Atlantic Ocean and boardwalk nearby. An excursion is being planned for interested delegates, and there will also be reduced registration fees for
graduate students.

What exactly is “wisdom” and how can wisdom be promoted on a global level to deal with a number of serious crises now facing the future of civilization? What have been some different definitions of wisdom? This is an ancient topic, but how can it be specifically applied today? What, if anything, can be done to solve these problems
collectively?

Some applications may be (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • What exactly is human nature and how is this relevant to civilizational futures?
  • What are some possible solutions to overpopulation and the related problems of over-industrialization, resource-depletion and environmental degradation?
  • What are some possible solutions to the problem of inequality, economic and otherwise?
  • Why do a few have so much while so many have so little? Do rich nations have any responsibilities to the poor ones?
  • Is Capitalism really working today? What did the “occupy” movements signify? Why are many western economies currently floundering? How have technological advances (especially increasing automation) contributed to the current jobs crisis?
  • Does material accumulation really bring happiness? Why/why not?
  • Is humankind naturally prone to conflict or cooperation? How are organizations like the United Nations faring with regard to international responses to regional problems?
  • What is a Utopia? Dystopia? How are these terms relevant today? What roles do utopias and dystopias play for the future of society? Have our leaders run out of inspiration? Is fear now the main rhetoric?
  • In the 20th century, humanity saw the rise of several grand ideologies: Communism, Fascism, Liberalism, etc. We also saw the dismantling of many of the institutions built on these grand visions. Have today’s leaders given up on grand visions? Is narrow self-interest and small scaled-down retraction now the trend? If so, what are the implications of this? Is this ‘realpolitik’ or just the politics of disillusionment?

And of course, papers concerning all questions relevant to civilizational studies are also welcome! These could include:

  • Studies of great civilizationalists, e.g., Spengler, Toynbee, Sorokin. Quigley, etc.
  • Analyses of particular civilizations and/or comparative studies of civilizations.
  • Decline and progress of civilizations.

Please send abstracts via email by April 1, 2014 (@ 300 words) to:

Prof. David J. Rosner
Metropolitan College of New York
ISCSC President and 2014 Program Chair
Email: drosner@mcny.edu

 

Introducing Collective Wisdom Index Alpha

Following up on the blog post “Toward a Wisdom Index” this post introduces the first such index, “Collective Wisdom Index Alpha.” I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on this nascent effort.

The index recognizes two conditions:

  1. The level of wisdom or folly that emerges from a group is largely independent of the wisdom of the individual group members.
  2. There are many concepts of wisdom and few efforts to measure it.

Therefore it is presented tentatively as version 0.1 of one member of a family of indices I hope can be created.

I encourage you to put this index to use. Use it to assess the various groups you participate in. Perhaps it can directly help us to improve academic philosophy. If those of you who are members of, or connected to, academic philosophy departments use this index to assess and improve the collective wisdom of those departments, it may represent a step forward.

Would it be useful for us to use the index to evaluate the performance of this Global Circle?

What do you think?

Thanks for your consideration of this on-going work.