A Skeptic’s Wisdom

The consistently thought-provoking Sabio Lantz posted this image on his blog:

I could respond with a Venn diagram of my own, one that depicts the intersection of liking the image and feeling I’ve understood it. I am not sure that I truly am in the overlap of the two. I instinctively like it. But what does it mean? Is the point that wisdom involves exploring the limits of knowledge and the limits of doubt, and balancing and clinging to both? Or is it something else?

Perhaps others with greater wisdom than I will have thoughts about this…but since talking about wisdom is always a wise course of action, hopefully my sharing it will show wisdom, even if my uncertainty as to whether I have correctly understood Sabio’s point does not.

  • spinkham

    The interpretation that seems most obvious to me is that there’s stuff that’s easy to know we know, and stuff that’s easy to know we don’t know, and then there’s stuff that’s difficult to know if we can or do know it, and that category is “wisdom”.

    Let’s break it down differently: Pretending to know things you don’t know is not wisdom, it’s folly. Pretending you don’t actually know things you do is not wisdom, it’s denial. If there is a thing called wisdom, it is only possible in the area were it’s difficult but possible to know things.

    Exactly what that area encompasses is perhaps the oldest question in philosophy, and I’d suggest perhaps wisdom might be better defined as knowing how to discern if something is wisdom or not. ;-)


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