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DouglasReay asks "What is wisdom"?

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad (Miles Kington, via the News Quiz).
Whereas I'd categorise "the set of objects that are fruit and the set of objects that are suitable for use in a fruit salad are not necessarily identical, despite the name" as being experience rather than wisdom. --DR

There is [an interesting article by AgileMetrics] that I somewhat disagree with.  I think I prefer the split:

[Data]
What it is: bits
For example: "10001000101"
How it is acquired: filter noise from signal, check error bits, have resent
What it doesn't yet have: meaning

[Information]
What it is: assertions
For example: "In March 2003, 12.3 cm of rain fell in Peru."
How it is acquired: data + structure and encoding
What it doesn't yet have: truth

[Knowledge]
What is it: a web of information that you can reliably process (eg apply deduction or induction to) to gain additional knowledge / grasp on reality.
For example: The Peru FAQ, The Economist and my Dad all agree on saying the rainfall was 12.3
How it is acquired: use context to relate pieces of information to other pieces of information
What it doesn't yet have: worth (relevance or completeness)

Experience
What is it: the prioritised set of knowledge relevant to generating workable solutions to particular problems, to making the decisions needed to effectively further particular interests or plans
For example: The complete USA military "How To" guide on how to invade Peru for minimum loss of American life.
How it is acquired: from finding, during previous attempts to do similar things, what knowledge was unexpectedly needed
What it doesn't yet have: reflection (self contemplation)

Wisdom
What it is: the experience of life needed to live well
For example: "What goes around comes around"
How it is acquired: the process of acquiring experience, applied to questioning about one's plans and interests (like "what actually are they or should they be")

To put it another way, Experience is the Knowledge that lets you decide how best to go about achieving a particular objective.  Wisdom resides in which top level objectives you pick, why you pick them, your awareness of that process and how you relate to it. --DouglasReay


How do you think of these terms?

* Wisdom is knowing when not to think about things.  I haven't even got close.  --Vitenka
* to quote the basic dungeons and dragons rulebook :intelligence is to know its raining, wisdom is to know to use an umbrella to stay dry [macloud]
* Wisdom is a quality of human beings that effects how they turn their experience of life into a system of values by which they live and relate to other people.  For further information, see [The Book of Ecclesiastes] and [The Book of Kings]. --Anthony? Reay
* Wisdom is knowing how not to hurt people.  It is not the same as experience.  Those who are very old and experienced or who have great knowledge and learning can still be cruel.  Wisdom is a quality of spirit.  When you apply knowledge to make a decision leading to action (or non-action) and are considering alternative possible judgements, what you use (the sensitivity / the perception / the understanding) to discern whether a judgement is sensible or not - that is your wisdom. --Fern? Reay
* "knowledge is acquired by learning, wisdom is acquired by unlearning" -- [Simpson]
* "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not (to make a reference to a tired cliché which was already mentioned at the top of the page because you were smart enough to read before you edited --SF channeling ChiarkPerson) to put it in a fruit salad."

Other views:
[Aristotle]
[Thomas Aquinas]
[Nikhil Sharma]
[TOGA]
[Russell Ackoff]
[Wikipedia]
[Ricardo R. Gudwin]
[Bertrand Russell]
[The Wisdom Page] - a collection of links to many other views
[Defining Wisdom] - categorised wisdom resources from the University of Chicago
[Testing the Older-But-Wiser Hypothesis]
[A Metaheuristic (Pragmatic) to Orchestrate Mind and Virtue Toward Excellence]
[Jennifer Rowley]



Beyond Wisdom

OP DouglasReay asks a further question:
I was in hospital recently, and got to thinking about wisdom.  I'm still not sure on what the nature of wisdom is.  Is it a state or a process?  Is it a quality of thoughts, writings, people or actions?  It appears from what people have written that a wise person is one who lives wisely because they have wise values and wise thoughts leading to wise decisions and wise actions.  However, while those thoughts can be written down, a thought or written statement of a thought that lead person A in situation A to make a wise decisions might, when read by person B, lead person B in situation B to make a foolish one.  Wisdom, it seems, is inherently personalised.  People differ in situation, obligations, mental abilities, talents and personality types.  A decision, a lifestyle or even a value, that may be wise for one person to make might be a foolish choice for another.  Which leads me to ask, is there a larger framework?  In this progression from Data to Information to Knowledge to Experience to Wisdom, is there a next step?  Is there something beyond wisdom?

If so, do you have a name for it?  Can you say anything about it?


SeeAlso: WisdomClub, [For every page, there is a web comic] [and here]
[Wisdom Tweets]
CategoryPhilosophy

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