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Dear Nick, 
A Pragmatic Solidarity narcissist is still a narcissist.
Best regards,
Bill Bauser
On Mar 7, 2012, at 4:53 AM, Nicholas Maxwell wrote:

> Dear Fellow Friends of Wisdom,
>  
>                                               I sometimes wonder whether we Friends of wisdom agree about what it is we seek to achieve.  Here is a possible statement of intent - a "mission statement" as it might be called.
>  
> The Idea Friends of Wisdom Seeks to Get into the Public Arena
>  
> We urgently need to bring about a revolution in science, and in universities more generally, so that the fundamental task becomes to help us create a better world.
> Instead of giving priority to the search for knowledge, academia needs to devote itself to seeking and promoting wisdom by rational means, wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, wisdom thus including knowledge but much else besides.
> 
> Acquiring scientific knowledge dissociated from a more basic concern for wisdom, as we do at present, is dangerously and damagingly irrational.
> 
> Natural science has been extraordinarily successful in increasing knowledge. This has been of great benefit to humanity. But new knowledge and technological know-how increase our power to act which, without wisdom, may cause human suffering and death as well as human benefit. All our modern global problems have arisen in this way: global warming, the lethal character of modern war and terrorism, vast inequalities of wealth and power around the globe, rapid increase in population, rapid extinction of other species, even the aids epidemic (aids being spread by modern travel). All these have been made possible by modern science dissociated from the rational pursuit of wisdom. If we are to avoid in this century the horrors of the last one - wars, death camps, dictatorships, poverty, environmental damage - we urgently need to learn how to acquire more wisdom, which in turn means that our institutions of learning become devoted to that end.
> 
> The revolution we need would change every branch and aspect of academic inquiry. A basic intellectual task of academic inquiry would be to articulate our problems of living (personal, social and global) and propose and critically assess possible solutions, possible actions. This would be the task of social inquiry and the humanities. Tackling problems of knowledge would be secondary. Social inquiry would be at the heart of the academic enterprise, intellectually more fundamental than natural science. On a rather more long-term basis, social inquiry would be concerned to help humanity build cooperatively rational methods of problem-solving into the fabric of social and political life, so that we may gradually acquire the capacity to resolve our conflicts and problems of living in more cooperatively rational ways than at present. Natural science would change to include three domains of discussion: evidence, theory, and aims - the latter including discussion of metaphysics, values and politics. Academic inquiry as a whole would become a kind of people's civil service, doing openly for the public what actual civil services are supposed to do in secret for governments. Academia would actively seek to educate the public by means of discussion and debate, and would not just study the public.
> 
> These changes are not arbitrary. They all come from demanding that academia cure its current structural irrationality, so that reason - the authentic article - may be devoted to promoting human welfare.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  
> It is not that I expect everyone to agree to every detail, but rather that this might be a reasonable working statement of what Friends of Wisdom seeks to bring to public consciousness.  We might take variations of this text as the kind of thing we send to scientists, scholars, occupy activists, politicians and other public figures in an attempt to get across our message.
>  
> If there is general agreement, I could, for example, post this on Occupy London's Facebook page.  And write to newspapers, and leading scientists and academics, making clear that this is what Friends of Wisdom stands for.  Others might do such things as well.
>  
>                              Best wishes,
>  
>                                         Nick Maxwell 
> Website: www.nick-maxwell.demon.co.uk
> Publications online: http://philpapers.org/profile/17092
>