E.F. Schumacher and His Legacy for the 21st Century
PART I Economics
WALTER MOSS Eastern Michigan University 2 Schumacher’s Wisdom-Centered Economics1 1 The Nature of Wisdom E.F. Schumacher (1911–77) believed that wisdom should be like the sun, lighting up (enlightening) all aspects of our lives, including our science, tech- nology, economics, politics, and personal lives. In his most popular book, Small is Beautiful, which first appeared in 1973, he wrote that ‘more educa- tion can help us only if it produces more wisdom’ (Schumacher 1975: 82). 2 How Can Wisdom Be Achieved? As we have seen, Schumacher believed that education should help us become wiser, but too often it was not much help. In his most philosoph- ical work, A Guide for the Perplexed, he wrote: ‘All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance to the conduct of my life. I remembered that for many years my perplexity had been complete’ (Schumacher 1977: 1). But if his formal education did not help much in his quest for wisdom, there was the more informal, self-educational path available to him and other wisdom seekers. 1 Most of the material in this paper first appeared in my essay ‘The Wisdom of E.F. Schumacher’, at http://www.wisdompage.com/SchumacherEssay.pdf. 8 WALTER MOSS Born in Germany in 1911, he received his primary and secondary educa- tion there before spending the early years of...
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