Monday, February 18, 2013

Wisdom talks

Recently I was alerted by a new academic friend of a new Wisdom Research project of the University of Chicago under a special academic grant, which project includes a Chinese wisdom part which my friend holds chair. Internet blogs nowadays are inundated with self-proclaimed "personal wisdom" messages (unfortunately your author has been considered by some as one of those!). Some are one-liners or several-liners wisdom statements. An example: "The best way to walk straight is to tread a path of curvature" or "The most important things are those which we consider unimportant". No wonder some guys considered Oscar a wise man rather than a good dramatist. Anyway, wise talks do hold our attention, which might just be a precursor to good wisdom.

Following my friend's alert, I ventured into UC's website; and there I read some of the scientific questions the project is posed to answer, I quote:

What is the relationship between expertise and wisdom?
How does experience increase wisdom?
What is the relationship between cognitive, social and emotional processes in mediating wisdom?

Putting the substantive questions aside, I have the feeling that the initiation of this project came from the disappointment of the "expertise" towards our experts (like financial) and our logical thinkers who drastically failed us in recent years. But then it's like if our experts of logical thinking failed us why don't we try our experts of emotional thinking? (you know what I mean!)

Anyway the Chinese part I find quite interesting because the first study was on the author of the famous "Taoist yoga" translated by Charles Luk. The relation between meditation and clear thinking, as my experience told me, thus makes good sense. But is it wisdom? I don't want to speculate.

1 comment:

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