On Wisdom

On Wisdom

onwisdompodcast.fireside.fm
What does science tell us about wisdom?


23: Antifragility, Gut Feelings, and the Myth of Pure Evil (with Jonathan Haidt)
Nov 4 • 57 min
Does that which doesn’t kill you make you weaker? Should we always follow our emotions? Is life a battle between good people and bad people? And critically, what might the adoption of these three popular, but unwise, ideas be doing to a rising generation…
22: The Epistemic Tightrope: Walking The Line of Doubt (with Scott Lilienfeld)
Oct 7 • 51 min
Patients always receive treatment in agreement with the best scientific evidence available, right? Well, no. Not really. Clinical practitioners seem to suffer from many of the cognitive biases that affect the rest of us, and treatment decisions are often…
21: The Art and Science of Knowing You Don’t Know (with Mark Alfano)
Sep 13 • 53 min
We live in confusing times. Politics is polarizing. Opinions clash on many topics leading to heated discussions. Take environmental change and what to do about it, the best ways to achieve prosperity, or the threats and opportunities of our globalized…
20: The Science of Awe (with Dacher Keltner)
Aug 20 • 58 min
What exactly is ‘awe’ and does it bring us, as individuals or as a society, any benefit? Dacher Keltner joins Igor and Charles to discuss why Canadians feel differently about awe than the Chinese, how to take an ‘awe walk’, why emotions vary across…
19: The Individual and The Culture (with Adam Grant)
Jul 30 • 30 min
Can an individual really change a culture? Adam Grant joins Igor and Charles to discuss cultures of non-conformity and giving in the workplace, the perils of cognitive entrenchment, the critical role of culture carriers, and why we should be managing our…
18: The End of the World is Nigh: Polarised Tribes, Passionate Words, and the Partisan Brain (with Jay Van Bavel)
Jun 29 • 63 min
How did politics get so damn polarised? Jay Van Bavel joins Igor and Charles to discuss political polarisation, the partisan brain, the inexorable rise of superheroes in dark times, the misperceptions of polarisation levels, and how to reach out to other…
17: The Metaphysics of Email and The Perils of Productivity (with Oliver Burkeman)
May 28 • 62 min
Our current productivity culture appears to peddle a false promise: If we can just get better organised, we really can do everything - no tough life choices or trade-offs need to be made! Guardian journalist and author Oliver Burkeman joins Igor and…
16: Beware the Intelligence Trap! (with David Robson)
Apr 28 • 59 min
Do highly intelligent people actually take better decisions in their daily lives than everyone else? And if not, what’s missing from our picture of what it means to be ‘smart’? Can you be highly intelligent, yet flunk a rationality test? And rather than…
15: Wisdom, Bullshit & Beliefs (with Gordon Pennycook)
Apr 7 • 45 min
‘Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena?’ Does it, really?! Why do some people fall for pseudo-profound bullshit and others don’t? When we share fake news stories, is this because we're motivated to think they're real, or because we don't bother to think at…
14: Wisdom & Social Norms (with Michele Gelfand)
Mar 13 • 59 min
Is it wiser for a society to be ‘tight’ – strictly enforcing social rules, or ‘loose’ – in which social rule-breaking barely raise an eyebrow? What do social norms have to do with a sense of threat? And might wise leaders have worked out how to…
13: Can Wisdom be Taught?
Feb 21 • 52 min
Can, or even should wisdom be taught at school? Would teaching about wisdom in the classroom even translate into wiser behaviour? And might learning about wise historical figures in school actually decrease the likelihood of students behaving more wisely?…
12: Social and Emotional Aging (with Laura Carstensen)
Jan 23 • 60 min
Life expectancy increased more in the 20th century than in the entire prior history of humanity combined. With many more of us now getting the opportunity to live into old age, what do we have to look forward to? Do our social and emotional lives degrade…
11: Wisdom at Work (with Barry Schwartz)
Dec 28, 2018 • 58 min
Can we design our workplaces to generate wiser behaviour? Why do we work anyway, and would we still work if we didn’t get paid? Do employers even want their employees to develop wisdom? Barry Schwartz joins Igor and Charles to discuss how Aristotle’s…
10: Wise Bodies, Wise Brains (with Wendy Berry Mendes)
Nov 22, 2018 • 49 min
Is our capacity for wise behaviour determined not just by our psychology but also by our physiology? Is there such a thing as ‘good stress’, and how might our assessment of a situation reduce the chances of us 'choking'? And can our own bodies actually be…
9: Dangerous Reflections (with Valerie Tiberius)
Oct 29, 2018 • 50 min
Can philosophers and psychologists work together to guide us towards living wisely? In pursuing the good life, can too much reflection be dangerous? Might philosophers have downplayed the importance of getting lost in experience? Valerie Tiberius joins…
8: The Dark Side (with Paul Bloom)
Sep 27, 2018 • 58 min
One thing we all seem to agree on is that empathy is an unmitigated good. But what if we are wrong? Might some forms of empathy actually be dangerous for society, biasing preferences towards those that look like us, or even those we find attractive? And…
7: Why We Tell Stories (with Nic Weststrate)
Aug 24, 2018 • 55 min
Why do we spend so much time telling stories - about ourselves, about each other, even about fictional characters? If storytelling isn’t simply about information exchange, what role does it really play in our lives? Why do older people feel compelled to…
6: Wisdom, Class & Inequality (with Michael Kraus)
Jul 16, 2018 • 63 min
If a typical white family in the US has 100 dollars, how many dollars does a typical black US family have? Wrong! Why are we so bad at guessing levels of inequality in society? How much of a role does your class play in preventing wise decision-making?…
5: The Foolish Sage (with Eranda Jayawickreme)
Jun 24, 2018 • 52 min
Do 'wise people' even exist? Do we have 'wise characters' or is our behaviour more influenced by 'wise situations'? And if so, what kinds of situations best support wise behaviour? Eranda Jayawickreme joins Igor and Charles to discuss the classic battle…
4: Yoda vs Spock (with Stéphane Côté)
May 11, 2018 • 63 min
Are emotions simply bugs in the system that prevent us from taking wise decisions? Or do they play an essential role in guiding us towards the wisest path? In short, should we be like hyper-rational cool-headed Mr Spock, or more like the emotionally…
3: On Death (with Laura Blackie)
Apr 25, 2018 • 53 min
Why do we avoid thinking about our own death? How does contemplating our own mortality change our day-to-day behaviour? Why do drivers, when reminded of the fact that they will die, actually drive even faster? Whilst society typically hides death from us,…
2: The Paradox of Ageing
Apr 22, 2018 • 56 min
Does wisdom really come with age? Or is this an outdated myth from a bygone era? How might wisdom develop in a brain that's ageing? Or perhaps by 'age', are we really talking about 'experience'? If so, do all experiences lead to wisdom, or only bad ones?…
1: Wisdom vs Intelligence
Apr 20, 2018 • 61 min
What's the difference between someone who's smart and someone who's wise? If you can you be intelligent without being wise, can you be wise without also being intelligent? If wisdom's so essential for taking good decisions, what's driving our exclusive…