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Ken Sharpe

Ken Sharpe

Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore University

Project Description: How Character and Practical Wisdom Are Learned: Re-Designing Institutions to Get the Practitioners We Need

Overview:  Character is critical to practical wisdom. Practical wisdom is critical to good character. Both are essential to the flourishing of the practices so important in today's society including ones such as friendship, parenting, doctoring, lawyering, teaching, financial advising, and policing. Practical Wisdom (which I coauthored with psychologist Barry Schwartz) shows how institutional structures of a certain kind corrode the practical wisdom and character on which these practices depend. This project looks at how that corrosion can be stemmed and reversed. Institutional re-design can encourage the kind of everyday experiences through which practitioners learn to aim at the right things and gain the moral skill and the moral will to achieve them. 

Last Updated: 10/2/13