A Quick and Dirty Definition of Wisdom

Wisdom = (something like this):

  1. Accurate Pattern observance and formation.
  2. Accurate pattern recognition.
  3. Accurate hypothesis creation.
  4. Accurate hypothesis testing.
  5. Accurate generalization (tentative conclusion) formation.
  6. Accurate understanding of the underlying nature of existence.
  7. Acceptance of the reality of existence based on making peace with life’s underlying nature.
  8. Proper application of all of this wisdom-knowledge to the day to day business of life and especially human relations.

We are just scraping the surface here, but I think this is a pretty good place to start. Feel free to keep the conversation going in the comments.


Filed under Philosophy, Psychology

10 responses to “A Quick and Dirty Definition of Wisdom

  1. Pingback: Why Do Very Smart People Often Tend to Be Quiet? | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

  2. Tulio

    Wisdom starts with perspective. You cannot have wisdom without it.

  3. Santoculto

    Evolve during the life, via internalization of good (accurate) thoughts,

    never kill the child who live inside you, be a accumulation of your developmental self, child love the life, be like a child in appropriate moments, be a mature or even as and adolescent in appropriate moments, BUT to be a full of you because you are also what your memmory internalize,

    We are not like a blank paper, but we are not like a complete paper or book, because the life is full of unique experiences on their respective space and time, and we interact with this reality,

    be intolerant with the fool and the evil, and with the first, give in mind that people can learn with their mistakes but just if they want,

    search always for logically harmonic patterns (aka, rational), Reality is very structured, if not would be chaotic,

    Search for multiple perspectives, the first step to start a diplomatic and correctly precise reality map. Logical is the first pattern recognition, rational is the ultimate. Logical is connect the explicit dots, but good judgment is not just it but connect also the implicit dots,

    self knowledge is super important and specially self-study their own weaknesses.

    A good judgment is a result of a complete thinking,

    observation and or perception,
    analysis (via multiple perspectives and hierarchy by values),
    critical thinking,
    logical thinking
    and rational thinking by the last process, of course in my mind, things happen quickly, i have a answer, many times, at miliseconds, but seems a good way to try to teach how to think rightly.

    Wise is not just a rational man or woman but a instinctive, emotional AND rational. Forget the ”animal” that we are is one of the most dangerous of the mistakes and lefties to do it all the time.

  4. Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

  5. The Buddhist definition of wisdom is closest to 6. Transcendental wisdom is direct gnosis, non-conceptual apprehension of the true nature of things.

    More mundane wisdom is a sense of having intellectual understanding of how things are or how things work. Some people are very intelligent, great ability to compute information and express themselves and reason, but philosophically misguided and wrong about things. I’d contrast wisdom with intelligence rather than knowledge.

    Then there’s more personal life experience kind of wisdom, understanding of life, love, pain, emotions, different trials and what to do. These are the type who can give good life advice.

    They are the three main things I understand by wisdom.

  6. I think 1-5 is more the processes involved in gaining wisdom rather than what wisdom itself is.

    • I think those were supposed to be steps actually. Step 1, Step 2, etc.

      • Ah makes sense. My bad.

        I really like 6 and 7. I think 6 gets to the essential point about the nature of existence. Plus I wouldn’t have thought of it but I guess there is wisdom in acceptance. 6, 7 and 8 are a bit like the Buddhist view, meditation and action.

  7. Kareem

    Non human animals would have the highest wisdom of all. All of these except 8 obviously are highly applicable to animals. “Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.”

  8. Johnny

    I would add that many view wisdom as something that comes with age, which is difficult to apply across the board obviously. Ultimately, wisdom ends up as a form of vague intelligence. It’s harder to define and most people will conjure an image of an elderly gray-bearded fellow speaking to a bunch of school children as they listen (think Grandpa Simpson here as a kind of parody!) rapt with attention. It’s also a compliment for some and makes for a deviation from traditional intelligence. Thus, some people are wise (and this can conflate with concepts like street smart or wily or clever etc) or sage-like, but not necessarily experts in a particular field in the academic or vocational sense (but this isn’t precluded either). Personally, I don’t use this term because of its imprecise nature other than as part of a punchline in a joke. It reminds me of when someone says, “You’re a gentleman and a scholar,” and I am left wondering are all academics gentlemen?! Wisdom may just work best when it’s applied to someone who has worked a lengthy period in a particular field(s) and has amassed a great deal of information that they dole out with great accuracy. Perhaps a kind of modern renaissance man. This is my view of course in that I get the feeling wisdom really is one of those terms that people will differ on other than of course the dictionary definition involving good judgement based on experience(s).

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