Toward a Neuroscience of Wisdom
Williams, P. B., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2016). Toward a neuroscience of wisdom. In J. R. Absher & J. Cloutier (Eds.) Neuroimaging, personality, social cognition, and character (pp. 383-395). London, UK: Elsevier.
Chapter excerpt: Wisdom is a quality of human nature that has been discussed extensively throughout history, perhaps most notably by Aristotle. In modern times, however, despite being considered a pinnacle of human cognition, there has been little public discourse about wisdom or its importance in human enterprise and even less scientific study of wisdom, although in recent years this has been increasing. Furthermore, much of the scientific study of wisdom has focused on describing the components of wisdom and its association (or lack thereof) with age and not on wisdom as a unified construct or how wisdom may be cultivated in life, although this too has been changing in recent research. In general, wise decisions and actions go beyond being smart, clever, or knowledgeable -being wise requires the quality of prudent judgment based on reflection of the reasons and values underlying one’s own and others’ thoughts, motivations, and behaviors. Aristotle defined one kind of wisdom as involving practical decisions that lead to human flourishing (phronêsis) or well-being, grounding wisdom in a more prosocial notion of human well-being in terms of seeking the highest human good. On this view, which is in line with modern philosophical and psychological descriptions, wisdom integrates a balance of cognitive and social expertise and knowledge.
Buy the book: Williams, P. B., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2016). Toward a neuroscience of wisdom. In J. R. Absher & J. Cloutier (Eds.) Neuroimaging, personality, social cognition, and character (pp. 383-395). London, UK: Elsevier.
The Center for Practical Wisdom: A look back at 2016 2016 marked the opening of the University of Chicago