October 6, 2004

So What Is Wisdom Anyway?

I found much to like in "Learning to Love Growing Old", but nothing so much as this clinical description of wisdom:

    It is not easy to talk about wisdom without lapsing into platitudes and vagueness, so a team of European researchers -- no surprise there -- has taken on the challenge to isolate the features of wisdom in clinical detail. From their ongoing studies of the aging mind, psychologists Paul B. Baltes and Ursula M. Staudinger, both of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, define wisdom:
    • It's an expertise that wraps information in the human context of life and relates it to generational and historical flow.
    • It is factual and procedural knowledge about the world and human affairs.
    • It mingles insight and judgment involving complex and uncertain matters of the human condition; there is an appreciation for and understanding of the uncertainties of life.
    • It involves a fine-tuned coordination of cognition, motivation, and emotion, knowledge about the self and other people and society.
    • It carries knowledge about strategies to manage the peaks and valleys of life.
    • It integrates past, present, and future.

Posted by Jill Fallon at October 6, 2004 11:34 AM | Permalink