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February 12th. Wisdom.

Do not jump into the road, says the Owner. It is Unwise.

There were no bicycles coming, I say. It was not Unwise on this Occasion.

One should live by Wise General Rules, says the Owner, and not jump into the Road At all.

The Moral Dog is too wise to need such General Rules, I say. The Moral Dog understands which way the Traffic comes up the Hill and is Wise Enough to Check for it before Leaping into the Road.

On the Contrary, says the Owner, the Moral Dog is demonstrating that he is not Wise at all. Socrates said a necessary condition for being Wise is believing one is Not Wise. This is called Humility Theory and Humility appears to be Something that the Moral Dog has not Got. Although he may get when is he is Squashed by a Bicycle.

I do not see how Wisdom can come from knowing you are Not Wise, I say. Many People who believe they are Not Wise are correct. Donald Trump never suggests he is Wise.

I think what Socrates meant, says the Owner, is that it is Wise to recognise the Limits of your Knowledge and the Extent of your Ignorance. True Wisdom comes from Knowing what you Don’t Know.

You cannot know what you don’t know, I say. And besides, that suggests that One who knows nothing and knows they know nothing is Extremely Wise.

They would be Extremely Wise to stay on the Pavement, says the Owner, if they did not know the dangers of the Road and Knew they Did not Know. Aristotle said there were two kinds of wisdom, Theoretical Wisdom, which is knowledge, and Practical Wisdom tells us how to use it and where its limitations lie. The Moral Dog may, for example, know when he can cross the road without truly knowing when he cannot.

There is nothing coming up the road, I say. This is not only practically and theoretically true, it is fundamentally and completely true. This is why I am currently Not Squashed despite Standing on the Road.

That may be true, says the Owner, but Robert Nozick says Wisdom is more than knowing fundamental truths, where these are unconnected with the guidance of life or with a perspective on its meaning.

I do not think knowing the meaning of life has any bearing on my being Wise or Unwise to Jump in the Road, I say. It is a One way Road, I say. I know this because I am Wise, I say.

Perhaps, says the Owner, what a wise Moral Dog needs to know and understand about One Way Roads includes Practical Knowledge about One Way Roads.

I cannot imagine what more I need to know, I say, gazing pointedly down the Empty Road. What do you think Wisdom is?

To be Truly Wise is to understand the most important goals and values, says the Owner, and how to reach them without great cost; the kinds of dangers that threaten those goals, and how to recognise and avoid them; knowing when certain goals are met and what limitations are unavoidable; knowing how to improve yourself; understanding the true value of things is; and therefore having the wisdom to best deal with the major tragedies and dilemmas of life.

Wow, I say. I need all that for Jumping in the Road?

The Owner heaves me back onto the payment as a bicyclist, travelling extremely fast, travels the wrong way down the road. Yes, she says. You see, she says.

You knew that was going to happen, I say.

It was inevitable, says the Owner, given that it has happened before and I saw him coming. Now do you understand about the Wisdom of the Moral Dog Jumping in the Road?

That is Not Fair, I say. He should not have been there, I say. An Unwise bicyclist travelling fast down a One way street does not make me Unwise. It makes me Wise but Unlucky.

Perhaps not, says the Owner, but the Wise Dog knows it is Possible to be Unlucky and you would still have been Squashed.

I have to Concede she Has a Point.

Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy wisdom

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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