Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins, and Development

Front Cover
Robert J. Sternberg
Cambridge University Press, Apr 27, 1990 - Psychology - 339 pages
1 Review
This authoritative volume represents the only complete collection of psychological views on wisdom currently available. Considered an elusive psychological construct until recently, wisdom is currently attracting interest as an independent field. The acclaimed psychologist Robert Sternberg perceived the need to document the progress made in the field, and to point the way for future theory and progress. The resulting book introduces the concept of wisdom, considers philosophical issues and developmental approaches, and covers folk conceptions of the topic. The final chapter presents an integration of the fascinating and comprehensive material.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Confucius stated that wisdom can be learned by three methods: Reflection (the noblest), imitation (the easiest) and experience (the bitterest). Wisdom is not told by self but unless asked for by another. This means a wise man never tells his wisdom unless asked person to person. According to "Doctrine of the Mean," Confucius also said, "Love of learning is akin to wisdom. To practice with vigor is akin to humanity. To know to be shameful is akin to courage (zhi,ren,yi..three of Mengzi's sprouts of virtue)." Compare this with the beginning of the Confucian classic "Great Learning" which begins with "The Way of learning to be great consists in manifesting the clear character, loving the people, and abiding in the highest good" one can clearly see the correlation with the Roman virtue "prudence," especially if one transliterates clear character as clear conscience. (Quotes from Chan's Sources of Chinese Philosophy).
Buddhist scriptures teach that a wise person is endowed with good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct & good mental conduct (AN 3:2) and a wise person does actions that are unpleasant to do but give good results and doesn’t do actions that are pleasant to do but give bad results (AN 4:115). The Buddha has much to say on the subject of wisdom including:
He who arbitrates a case by force does not thereby become just (established in Dhamma). But the wise man is he who carefully discriminates between right and wrong.
He who leads others by nonviolence, righteously and equitably, is indeed a guardian of justice, wise and righteous.
One is not wise merely because he talks much. But he who is calm, free from hatred and fear, is verily called a wise man.
By quietude alone one does not become a sage (muni) if he is foolish and ignorant. But he who, as if holding a pair of scales, takes the good and shuns the evil, is a wise man; he is indeed a muni by that very reason. He who understands both good and evil as they really are, is called a true sage.
In Taoism Practical Wisdom may be described as knowing what to say and when to say it.
 

Contents

Understanding wisdom
3
Wisdom through the ages
13
The psychology of wisdom an evolutionary interpretation
25
Wisdom as integrated thought historical and developmental perspectives
52
Toward a psychology of wisdom and its ontogenesis
87
Wisdom in a postapocalyptic age
121
Wisdom and its relations to intelligence and creativity
142
The study of wise persons integrating a personality perspective
160
Wisdom and Reflective Judgment knowing in the face of uncertainty
212
Wisdom the art of problem finding
230
An essay on wisdom toward organismic processes that make it possible
244
Conceptualizing wisdom the primacy of affect cognition relations
279
The elements of wisdom overview and integration
317
Name index
333
Subject index
337
Copyright

The loss of wisdom
181

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information