Archive for October, 2012

Can wisdom be taught?

October 26, 2012

Previously I exposed my thoughts regarding the acquisition of wisdom. After accepting wisdom as an acquirable trait/ability, a question we might face is: can wisdom be taught?

I don’t think that wisdom or its products can be taught. Nevertheless I believe a teacher might be able to give you is guidance towards achieving wisdom. In this sense the teacher stops being a teacher and becomes a companion.

When we accept wisdom as a culmination of reflection and action based on experience and knowledge, it becomes subjective understanding of the beholder. The subjectivity by which we experience each event, and our understanding of any information we are exposed to, provides a different shade of color to everyone’s experience.

In consequence, a teacher might be able to teach you what he has learned throughout his life, but the meaning or even usefulness of it to you will vary greatly. I am by no means underestimating the importance of advice and lessons from those who are further down their paths in life. But what I am pointing to, it’s the lack of an absolute paradigm towards achieving wisdom.

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Acquisition of Wisdom

October 18, 2012

One of the initial questions posed here was if wisdom was acquirable? The short answer is yes, but I will share with you my thoughts regarding this matter.

The idea of wisdom as a non-acquirable ability/virtue/trait doesn’t make much sense to me. Although a reasonable amount of philosophers have proposed wisdom as an innate trait, I differ from this notion. Perhaps my background in Biology/Medicine short-sights me into a worldview in which traits are acquirable throughout generations, and to some extent be developed once acquired.

Following our previous definitions of wisdom, an innate wisdom goes agaisnt the definition we are standing upon: without experience, without awareness and  without reflection, wisdom surely will not blossom. What is innate is the possibility of acquiring wisdom, the chance to become wise.

Every single human being, regardless of their cognitive abilites, is able to acquired wisdom to some extent. As noted previously, even adults recognize bullets of wisdom in remarks from child, who because of its short lifespan has limited experience.

This ability, or opportunity, to develop wisdom is to be fostered by all humans, specially those as myself who seek to define themselves before trying to define others.

But if wisdom is acquirable, how can we tap into this such elusive yet appealing trait? which steps are to be taken to become wise? are there any tools we might use during this journey?  can we meassure wisdom?

Wisdom as an action

October 3, 2012

After supercially exploring the definitions of wisdom, it dawned on me that wisdom is essentially an action. Wisdom that doesn’t act, doesn’t exist. The idea of passive wisdom is funny: without action wisdom remains as knowledge or experience and therefore it’s not wisdom at all.

I think that  a fundamental step towards becoming wise is continously asking oneself: how can x previous experience help me in my current y experience? how can others experiences translate into personal anecdotes?