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InvestingThe Last Liberal Art, Second Edition$
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Robert Hagstrom

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160100

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160100.001.0001

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(p.84) 6 Philosophy

Robert G. Hagstrom

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the relevance of philosophy to investing. The word philosophy is derived from two Greek words, usually translated as “love” and “wisdom.” A philosopher, then, is a person who loves wisdom and is dedicated to the search for meaning. The pursuit of wisdom is an active, unending process of discovery. The true philosopher is filled with the passion to understand, a process that never ends. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that seeks to understand the limits and nature of knowledge. This chapter examines how the process of thought formations occurs and how good thinking skills can be acquired, with particular emphasis on how we think about investing. It considers Lee McIntyre's belief that philosophy is the critical variable for understanding complexity, along with the ideas of scholars such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Allen Paulos. It also explores narrative knowledge and the philosophy of pragmatism as they apply to investing.

Keywords:   philosophy, investing, epistemology, knowledge, thinking skills, Lee McIntyre, complexity, Ludwig Wittgenstein, narrative knowledge, pragmatism

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