How can we sustain and support ourselves in daily life when the world faces so many serious crises?

Philosopher's reply

Dear Claire,

thank you for your important question. Aristotle’s ethics might help here. He thought that doing the ‘right’ thing meant we had to develop something called ‘practical wisdom’ – being able to see and understand what each situation requires of us. Practical wisdom is a kind of knowledge for doing and acting appropriately according to the situation and moment we are in. It is developed by making sure we look after our own character, habits and behaviours. We can look to role models for help, because it’s hard to do this. It takes time and we will probably make mistakes along the way – that’s ok, so long as we learn from them. So, attending to the world’s crises actually requires that we develop our own strengths, because our ethical responsibility begins with ourselves.


Philosopher's profile

Catherine Robb

Tilburg University, The Netherlands

I admire Murdoch's ability to weave narrative with philosophical rigour. This means that her philosophical thinking is not just for philosophy's sake, but to apply it to the human condition, not always to find answers, but to be able to ask the right questions.

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