Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins, and Development
Robert J. Sternberg
Cambridge University Press, Apr 27, 1990 - Psychology - 339 pages
Wisdom is such an elusive psychological construct that few people have considered it a viable field, though many are fascinated by the topic. Well-known psychologist Robert J. Sternberg of Yale University, perceiving the growth of interest in wisdom as a field, saw a need to document the progress that has been made in the field since the early '80s and to point the way for future theory and research. The resulting comprehensive and authoritative book, Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins and Development, is a well-rounded collection of psychological views on wisdom. It introduces this concept of wisdom, considers philosophical issues and developmental approaches, and covers as well folk conceptions of the topic. In the final section, Professor Sternberg provides an integration of the fascinating and comprehensive material.
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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.
Wisdom through the ages
The psychology of wisdom an evolutionary interpretation
Wisdom as integrated thought historical and developmental perspectives
Toward a psychology of wisdom and its ontogenesis
Wisdom in a postapocalyptic age
Wisdom and its relations to intelligence and creativity
The study of wise persons integrating a personality perspective
Wisdom and Reflective Judgment knowing in the face of uncertainty
Wisdom the art of problem finding
An essay on wisdom toward organismic processes that make it possible
Conceptualizing wisdom the primacy of affect cognition relations
The elements of wisdom overview and integration
The loss of wisdom