May 16, 2009
By kunjal arora BRONZE, ROHINI, Indiana
kunjal arora BRONZE, ROHINI, Indiana
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Wisdom is an ideal that has been celebrated since antiquity as the knowledge needed to live a good life. What this means exactly depends on the various wisdom schools and traditions claiming to help foster wisdom. In general,
these schools have emphasized various combinations of the following: knowledge, understanding, experience, discretion, and intuitive understanding, along with a capacity to apply these qualities well towards finding solutions to problems. In many traditions, the terms wisdom and intelligence have somewhat overlapping meanings; in others they are arranged hierarchically, with intelligence being necessary but not sufficient for wisdom; Neo-Platonists like Cusanus, endorsed a 'docta ignorantia' in which the greatest wisdom was to recognize one's own ignorance of the divine.

According to Rice (1958) two wisdom traditions can be identified in the Renaissance: Contemplative and prudential. Contemplative traditions, such as monastic traditions, emphasized meditation on one's own experience as a pathway to the divine: Augustine was an early and influential figure in the Christian lineage of this tradition. The status of wisdom or prudence as a virtue is recognized in cultural, philosophical and religious sources as the judicious and purposeful application of knowledge that is valued in society. Charron (1601) was an influential Renaissance proponent of this wisdom tradition .


We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word.

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