INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Measuring wisdom

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
Message
Author
Nirvanam
Posts: 1023
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Measuring wisdom

#1 Post by Nirvanam » May 13th, 2010, 8:11 pm

I came across this article on livescience.com about a project that tried to measure "wisdom". The article itself didn't capture my imagination (http://www.livescience.com/culture/wisd ... l#comments) but it was the comments posted that were kinda interesting. And I thought this group also would give meaningful answers to the question of wisdom and whether it can be measured scientifically...in fact what is the purpose of science.

Like one of the comments noted, wisdom starts when science ends i.e. science helps you with some knowledge and information, what you do with that is in the realm of wisdom.

Your thoughts...

Marian
Posts: 3985
Joined: August 23rd, 2009, 2:25 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#2 Post by Marian » May 14th, 2010, 12:58 am

I suppose if one could clearly define wisdom, then one might be able to measure it scientifically but that's the trouble. Wisdom means different things depending on whom you talk to.
As for wisdom beginning where science ends, I'd have to disagree. Wisdom might be useful to apply to scientific endeavors at the beginning of these endeavors rather than at the end. Is there even an agreed definition of wisdom?

Yourdictionary.com lists this as one definition: the quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc.; good judgment; sagacity.
Transformative fire...

User avatar
grammar king
Posts: 869
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:42 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#3 Post by grammar king » May 14th, 2010, 1:08 am

Well if you take wisdom to mean good judgement, we can (with difficulty!) determine which choice is the best using science, and use that as a proxy for measuring wisdom, I suppose.

Logikos
Posts: 14
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#4 Post by Logikos » May 14th, 2010, 8:49 am

grammar king wrote:Well if you take wisdom to mean good judgement, we can (with difficulty!) determine which choice is the best using science, and use that as a proxy for measuring wisdom, I suppose.
I fail to see how the scientific method could even in principle lead to conclusions about what makes one choice better than another.

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#5 Post by Paolo » May 14th, 2010, 1:02 pm

Logikos wrote:
grammar king wrote:Well if you take wisdom to mean good judgement, we can (with difficulty!) determine which choice is the best using science, and use that as a proxy for measuring wisdom, I suppose.
I fail to see how the scientific method could even in principle lead to conclusions about what makes one choice better than another.
Surely science provides a mechanism by which alternative options can be tested, allowing an informed choice to be made based on demonstrable measures of quality?

Logikos
Posts: 14
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#6 Post by Logikos » May 14th, 2010, 2:34 pm

Paolo wrote:Surely science provides a mechanism by which alternative options can be tested, allowing an informed choice to be made based on demonstrable measures of quality?
Scientific inquiry can tell us the (physical) effects of making a particular choice; it can't say what criteria we should use to judge between choices. Wisdom is about the ability to make good choices based on some background knowledge; science can provide background knowledge but not what constitutes a good choice.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#7 Post by Nick » May 14th, 2010, 2:59 pm

Logikos. wrote:Scientific inquiry can tell us the (physical) effects of making a particular choice; it can't say what criteria we should use to judge between choices. Wisdom is about the ability to make good choices based on some background knowledge; science can provide background knowledge but not what constitutes a good choice.
I'd go along with that to a certain extent, but how do you decide what constitutes a good choice?

Logikos
Posts: 14
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#8 Post by Logikos » May 14th, 2010, 3:11 pm

Nick wrote:I'd go along with that to a certain extent, but how do you decide what constitutes a good choice?
Of course, that's the question (one of meta-ethics and not science).

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#9 Post by Nick » May 14th, 2010, 3:52 pm

So you do not derive any sense of goodness from your religion, then? That's a hopeful sign :wink:

Logikos
Posts: 14
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#10 Post by Logikos » May 14th, 2010, 3:53 pm

Nick wrote:So you do not derive any sense of goodness from your religion, then? That's a hopeful sign :wink:
Why do you assume that?

Nirvanam
Posts: 1023
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#11 Post by Nirvanam » May 14th, 2010, 4:37 pm

I kinda agree with Logikos thoughts on wisdom and science. In fact when we do a training on Metrics and Data-based Decision Making or Decision Support Systems the following is how we present relevance of data management...
Data: raw facts and figures ex data on customers, employees , products, transactions
Ex. A and B have resigned; Census- 20 lakh people in India are unemployed.

Information: processing data to glean some meaning.
Ex. Attrition in sales has crossed 20% due to A and B resigning;
Census- 5 lakh are women; 15 are men.

Knowledge: using information to abstract some trends or patterns- reasoning and detailed analysis.
Ex. Most attrition is happening under a particular supervisor – can lead to action.

Wisdom: application of the knowledge, experiences, insights and intuition to customize for a particular context. Ex. Maybe the supervisor's methods of engaging with his sub-ordinates need to be reviewed.

“Young men know the rules; old men know the exceptions!”. "Knowledge complicates; wisdom simplifies.”

This is the definition I got for "science" on dictionary.com - The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation. ◇ Science makes use of the scientific method , which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis.

So science basically tells us "what is", what we then do with that knowledge is in the realm of wisdom? In other words, how do I use the "what is" knowledge for my benefit.
I think I can draw parallel to knowledge and wisdom with theory and practice...the scientist and the engineer.

Science or knowledge just for the sake of it is basically useless...it is the practical application of that knowledge under appropriate contexts that actually make knowledge or science useful.

Defining wisdom might not be much of a problem, but measuring it will be difficult. I don't think our modern approach to science can measure wisdom at all...you know the whole thing based on hypothesis and rejecting it or failing to reject it.

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#12 Post by Gottard » May 14th, 2010, 4:39 pm

To me "wisdom" and "Ethics" are the job of Statisticians. Like Science, based on the empirical trial method, both wisdom and ethics are the result of evaluation based on the largest statistical occurrence of any subject (subject=every single aspect of wisdom and/or ethics).
IOW what the majority of people think to be wise then it is assumed to be wise.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

Nirvanam
Posts: 1023
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#13 Post by Nirvanam » May 14th, 2010, 4:45 pm

peneasy wrote:To me "wisdom" and "Ethics" are the job of Statisticians. Like Science, based on the empirical trial method, both wisdom and ethics are the result of evaluation based on the largest statistical occurrence of any subject (subject=every single aspect of wisdom and/or ethics).
IOW what the majority of people think to be wise then it is assumed to be wise.
I am not sure if I'd agree with that...wise and wisdom are not the same thing. Yes, they have the same root but 'wise' is normally associated with action and wisdom is more of a possession...what you have in yourself.

Your bringing together of wisdom and ethics is giving me the feeling that there is some psychological inertia working there with regards to the word "wisdom" as used by our great religionists.

By the way, what does IOW stand for?

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#14 Post by Gottard » May 14th, 2010, 4:55 pm

:pointlaugh:
IOW= in other words
I wrote 'wise' to mean 'wisdom';you may be right however.

Re.:"Your bringing together of wisdom and ethics is giving me the feeling that there is some psychological inertia working there with regards to the word "wisdom" as used by our great religionists" I'm unsure about what you mean by 'psychological inertia'?
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

User avatar
grammar king
Posts: 869
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:42 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#15 Post by grammar king » May 14th, 2010, 4:59 pm

Logikos wrote:
Paolo wrote:Surely science provides a mechanism by which alternative options can be tested, allowing an informed choice to be made based on demonstrable measures of quality?
Scientific inquiry can tell us the (physical) effects of making a particular choice; it can't say what criteria we should use to judge between choices. Wisdom is about the ability to make good choices based on some background knowledge; science can provide background knowledge but not what constitutes a good choice.
Yes, but everyone makes a choice with an objective or objectives in mind. If we know what those objectives are, then we can see how well each one is fulfilled after each choice and use that as a proxy to measure which choice is better.

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#16 Post by Nick » May 14th, 2010, 5:36 pm

Logikos wrote:
Nick wrote:So you do not derive any sense of goodness from your religion, then? That's a hopeful sign :wink:
Why do you assume that?
Because of the absence of any statement to that effect. :) Am I wrong? :)

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Measuring wisdon

#17 Post by Nick » May 14th, 2010, 5:39 pm

peneasy wrote:...what the majority of people think to be wise then it is assumed to be wise.
Good grief! Heaven help us!

Nirvanam
Posts: 1023
Joined: April 15th, 2009, 11:29 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#18 Post by Nirvanam » May 14th, 2010, 6:56 pm

peneasy wrote::pointlaugh:
IOW= in other words
I wrote 'wise' to mean 'wisdom';you may be right however.

Re.:"Your bringing together of wisdom and ethics is giving me the feeling that there is some psychological inertia working there with regards to the word "wisdom" as used by our great religionists" I'm unsure about what you mean by 'psychological inertia'?
Psychological Inertia is a term normally used with respect to Innovation sciences. However the term itself does not have too much technical context for it to not be used in general terms.

Typically humans tend to think or traverse mental paths that they are used to or are familiar with. There are different types of Psychological Inertia...it could be visual, for example when you imagine the universe many people have an image with a black / dark background for space, or when you imagine an apple, some of us automatically imagine a red colored apple. Similarly when we come across certain words or certain terms we tend to associate its meaning with its meaning in the context under which we came across the term before (or the default memory of it as stored in the brain). So, what I meant is that probably you having encountered the word "wisdom" under the context of some religionist's rant such as "the wise men chosen by god" or whatever, could be the reason why the association of wisdom and ethics was made. Because ethics, actually morality, is another such term that is normally drummed up by religionists.

Logikos
Posts: 14
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#19 Post by Logikos » May 14th, 2010, 7:39 pm

Nick wrote: Because of the absence of any statement to that effect. :) Am I wrong? :)
Absence of evidence... :wink: Yes, Christianity plays a big part in my understanding of morality - what would it mean to be a Christian if it didn't influence your ethics?

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Measuring wisdon

#20 Post by Alan C. » May 14th, 2010, 9:41 pm

thread title
Measuring wisdon
I know m and n are adjacent on the keyboard.............But really!
Don't you proofread or use a spell check before posting?

Did nobody else spot it? Or were you just too polite to point it out?

Wisdom develops with age, much like grey hair and a short temper. :smile:
Logikos
what would it mean to be a Christian if it didn't influence your ethics?
Could you tell me in what way being a "Christian" influences your ethics? (Or morals)

A lot of so called "Christians" are homophobic misogynists, where do you stand on those two points?
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Post Reply