Carlo Cipolla, Robert J. Stenberg, and More on Stupidity | Part 4

VICTOR SWIFT in Inkblot:

A fool is one who deceives himself in order to maintain his own destruction.  Whereas the stupid person lacks the intelligence to live a good life, and the ignorant person lacks the knowledge to live a good life, it is the foolish person who possesses both the knowledge and the intelligence but deliberately chooses not to live a good life.

Since the time of Socrates, philosophers have identified six different qualities constituting foolishness: lack of character constraint, unbalanced motivational centers, narrative fixation, misframing, modal confusion, and lack of self-transcendence. 

For Aristotle, part of being a good person is having a well-developed moral and self-reflective character that is strong enough to constrain behaviours across circumstances (Aristotle & Irwin, 1999). If one’s character is unable to constrain one’s behaviours, then one remains susceptible to self-destructive and self-deceptive behaviour.

In modern psychological terms, character constraint may be understood as self-regulation, the ability to coordinate the processes of forethought, performance control, and self-reflection in a dynamical fashion (Zimmerman, 2000). The self-regulating individual reflects upon the effectiveness of his or her behaviours, generates strategies in order to maximize the usefulness of these behaviours, and then guides his or her actions according to the proposed strategy. This cycle is monitored and evaluated based on feedback from the environment that indicates how adjustments can be made in order to further optimize functioning. 

Read full length here

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