Wise Society

From climate change to obesity it seems clear that our societies are less wise than we would like — or need. Wisdom can sound other-worldly. But we believe it can and should be eminently practical. That it offers a valuable way to frame an important and essential enquiry into how we can make our societies and institutions work better. Wisdom is an idea that requires us to reflect on ends as well as means — where we are going as well as how to get there. For example, we focus a great deal on growth, but what kind of growth do we want and why do we want it? Conversely, lofty ideals are all very well, but without practical ways to turn them into reality they may be of little value.

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Writings & projects

Writings and Essays

Discounting and Self-Control

I’m posting up an essay on “Discounting and Self-Control” (pdf). The essay, which I haven’t really touched for over a year, is still in its early stages but having lacked the time to do much on it over the last year, and going on the motto of “release early, release often”, I’m posting it up as a form of alpha version. … then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;

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Theories of Contextual Judgement in Relation to Well-Being and Other Outcomes

I’ve just posted online a new paper on “Theories of Contextual Judgement in Relation to Well-Being and Other Outcomes”. This is a more a review-type effort and summarizes my thoughts (and reading of the existing literature) from the last year or so in relation to “relative” utility, status races and general contextual judgement/utility. Abstract: The paper presents an overview of existing theories on contextual judgement/utility situating them within a general framework.

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Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy Can Help With Depression

A new paper has just come out in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Vol 76(6), Dec 2008, 966-978 entitled: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent relapse in recurrent depression. According to the abstract (hope to say more once I can actually get access to the pdf): … This study asked if, among patients with recurrent depression who are treated with antidepressant medication (ADM), MBCT is comparable to treatment with maintenance ADM (m-ADM) in (a) depressive relapse prevention, (b) key secondary outcomes, and © cost effectiveness.

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