What Is Wisdom?

The wisest is he who realizes, like Socrates, that in respect of wisdom he is worthless.

- Plato, Apology, 23B

Podcast of the Day

Bettany Hughes enquires into changing ideas of wisdom by watching a football match and going to a synagogue to hear the Song of Deborah being sung.

Listen to the Ideas That Make Us episode on Wisdom

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

What is wisdom?... A common answer these days from English-speaking philosophers is that wisdom is a matter of knowing what is fundamental and then living well in the light of that. As philosopher Robert Nozick suggests,

Wisdom is an understanding of what is important, where this understanding informs a (wise) person’s thought and action.

One might add that the actions are undertaken with a strategic awareness of limits and potential obstacles.

This account of wisdom is part of the story, but is incomplete...

Continue reading Thaddeus Metz's article: What is wisdom, and is it unwise to pursue it?

Further Reading

What is wisdom? Philosophers, psychologists, spiritual leaders, poets, novelists, life coaches, and a variety of other important thinkers have tried to understand the concept of wisdom. This entry will provide a brief and general overview, and analysis of, several philosophical views on the topic of wisdom... In particular, it will focus on five general approaches to understanding what it takes to be wise: (1) wisdom as epistemic humility, (2) wisdom as epistemic accuracy, (3) wisdom as knowledge, (4) a hybrid theory of wisdom, and (5) wisdom as rationality.

Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Wisdom by Sharon Ryan

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