Recently I was debating with others the proposition that solving social problems in games enhances one's ability to solve real-world problems (my view was the negative: many excellent strategic gamers consistently make spectacularly foolish personal decisions in real life). This seems to generate the question: "Do philosophers have a better track record of making successful personal decisions than the average minimally-thinking individual?"

And why, pray tell, can’t one expect someone with philosophical insight always to do the best? Socrates assumed that once we knew what we should do, we would automatically act as we should. His student Plato disagreed– as did most philosophers since him. We have other sources of motivation besides knowledge of what is best. As Plato put it, we have certain appetites– whether natural or acquired– that are insensitive to considerations of what is best and we have emotional responses that aren’t perfectly calibrated to our view about what is best. For this reason, even if I believed that it would be a bad idea to give in to this temptation, I might still have appetites or emotions that over-power my better judgment.