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Philosophy of Management

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2011

Wisdom and the Good Life

Christian Gärtner
Pages 29-42
DOI: 10.5840/pom20111019

Wisdom in the Flesh
Embodied Social Practices of Wisdom in Organisations

The majority of contemporary models of wisdom define it in terms of a cognitive ability that is located in an agent’s mind. Even those models that include emotions, affective states, gut feelings etc. hardly recognise the relation between those non-cognitive dimensions, agents’ bodies and how they shape the content of experiences and how social practices of wisdom enfold. This paper will address this gap by providing a phenomenological account that depicts wisdom not as generated by wise individuals but as being produced by and within embodied practices of agents relating to other people, artefacts, concepts, and ways of using others and things. It is argued that management should aim at building facilitative contexts that afford people to make use of and exploit the embodied dimension of wise practices. Exemplary strategies and tools that establish such sites, where embodied social practices of wisdom happen, are described.

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