Wisdom is often found in sacrificing one thing to gain another and evolve as a human being.
Paul, a child prodigy who became a leading theoretical physicist in his early 30s, is facing a personal dilemma that is making him miserable—the realization that he might be woefully deficient in the one thing he most reveres. Although filled with endless knowledge, he isn’t wise. But how? Isn’t harnessing more and more information the key to becoming wise? In his attempt to figure it out, Paul might realize the obstacle he’s facing isn’t even close to being the final one. And can he feel like a complete person without it?
The idea of wisdom goes back to Ancient Greece, from Socrates and Plato, to modern day reinterpretations and research by sociologists like Monika Ardelt. In this episode’s exploration of wisdom and how it manifests, the real questions come forth. Even if we can define wisdom, is that enough to come by it? Can anyone become truly wise in this world of rapidly changing information? And what will happen to the world if wisdom is actually declining in reverse proportion to the volumes of information available every day?
Truman, an ordinary man with a regular job, is caught lying in a country where lying is illegal. Thanks to his actions, he ends up facing a mandatory Truth Course to get him back on the track. Terrified, Truman slowly realizes the truth is not what we all grew accustomed to believe. Is it possible that truth is nothing more than a piece of clay molded by someone’s interests? Time is running out for Truman, and the sculptor of truth might just hold the power to mold his future.
To try and understand the truth about truth itself, we’ll look at correspondence theory, coherence theory, pragmatism and truth-seeking components of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Each argument will give us a unique approach to just what the truth might be. But if there can only be one truth, which one is correct? The one molded by your hands, or someone else’s hands? And if forced to face an absolute truth, would you be able to accept all its consequences?
This is an Ask Me Anything (AMA) looking back at Episode EF5 (The Truth is Clay in the Hands of a Sculptor). The driving question of this episode (and this AMA) for you to think through is … what is the truth? Without knowing the truth, what can we do? Somewhere deep in our DNA, there’s a code that says we always need to seek honesty, we need to fight for trustworthiness. So then why is there so much dishonesty in the news and our collective discourse?