- For criticism see Criticism of Wisdom
See also Wisdom according to Wikipedia
In its minimalist sense, wisdom is simply the ability and inclination to make choices that stand the sense of time. To say that a choice was wise implies that the action or inaction was strategically correct when judged by some set of values. In this sense, if a decision was, in retrospect, very smart, it was wise.
Another formulation along these lines is that wisdom is "Making the best use of available knowledge."
However, in a deeper sense, wisdom connotes an enlightened perspective and/or effective support for the long-term common good.
Insights and acts that are widely considered wise tend to:
- arise from a broad (not narrow-minded) perspective,
- serve life in some broad or deep way (not just narrow self-interest)
- be grounded in but not limited by the past (experience, history, etc.) and the future (likely consequences)
- be informed by multiple forms of intelligence -- reason, intuition, heart, spirit, etc..
As with all decisions, a wise decision is made from incomplete information. But in a wise decision the chooser possesses a sense of the way that situations usually turn out and, in its deeper forms, a desire for the outcome to be broadly beneficial.
Classically, wisdom is considered to come with age. In some religions, wisdom is considered a gift granted by God.
A wise person is often called a "sage."