Wisdom and Foresight in Chinese Thought: Sensing the Immediate Future

Abstract

This article provides an analysis of the problematic of foresight in traditional Chinese thought, articulating it with current developments in the epistemology of futures studies, planning theory, and strategic management. It is argued that in Chinese thought the answer to the question “Can the future be predicted?” depends on the forecasting horizon: whereas the immediate future can be sensed and taken advantage of by immersing oneself in the evolving situation, the remote future is fundamentally unpredictable. These dual answers are entrenched in discussions of what
constitutes wisdom, opening up productive spaces of encounter between the problematic of foresight and the problematic of wisdom.

Keywords: Distant future; Immediate future; Propensity of things; Epistemology of futures studies; Wisdom, Strategic management.

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