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Wisdom's Structure

A look at superior human values and their relationship to wisdom

Wisdom-Directed Empathy in Politics and Everyday Life by Walter G. Moss. “In earlier works, I have identified empathy as an important value and written about wise people like Dorothy Day who have amply demonstrated it. Other scholars who have focused on the meaning of wisdom such as Tom Lombardo, Copthorne Macdonald, and Richard Trowbridge have also included empathy as one of wisdom’s attributes. In this essay, we will examine empathy in much more detail, explore the multiple ways it relates to wisdom, trace its historical development, and indicate the many areas of human life, including politics, where it is important, now and in the future.”

Beyond Olympic Gold - Toward a Global Human Rights Assessment by Leland Beaumont. A proposal presented in narrative form for the ongoing comparative assessment of how well nations successfully realize the Universal Declaration of Rights.

Wisdom and Humility by Walter Moss. Many wisdom scholars list humility as one of the important values associated with wisdom. It is the opposite of arrogance and vanity and is linked to many other wisdom values.

Wisdom, Death, and the Transcendental: Beauty, Nature, the Arts, and Love by Walter Moss. In our latter years—and who knows how many more any of us have on this good earth—thoughts of death and the meaning of life come more naturally to us. We instinctively believe, or at least want to believe, that there’s more to life than our humdrum existence. But what is that more?

Sonnets on Toward Wisdom by Alan Nordstrom. Including Virtues of the Wise. "... we may succeed and happily mend, If we take wisdom as our highest end."

Exploring the Potentiality of the Nigerian Mind: The Power of Self Awareness, Intention, and Reflectivity in a Disadvantaged Society with a Personal Note on the Value of The Wisdom Page by Stephen Mufutau Awoyemi. A personal and inspiring essay on the importance of wisdom, self-awareness, and self-responsibility for the people of Nigeria and their future written by one of our most faithful readers, a native of this African country.

Love: The Greatest Wisdom Virtue by Walter Moss. The author argues that love, though not sufficient to completely capture the essence of wisdom, is absolutely essential to wisdom and the most important of all virtues that make up the capacity for wisdom.

BEAUTY, TRUTH AND GOODNESS. Here, Alan Nordstrom makes the case that "Human beings are constituted to appreciate and assimilate three classic values: Beauty, Truth and Goodness. Our dedication to pursuing those values leads us toward Wisdom and expresses itself as Love."

Bridging science and values: A unifying view of mind and brain. This journal article by Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Roger Sperry links human values to brain function, and makes the case that "More than any other causal system with which science now concerns itself, it is variables in human value systems that will determine the future." (PDF format.)

Philosophical Counselling as a Process of Fostering Wisdom in the Form of Virtues is an article by Arto Tukiainen which asserts that "an adequate understanding of the concept of wisdom enables philosophical counsellors to identify their proper tasks" and that "philosophical counselling is a process where the counsellee's powers of virtue are examined and encouraged." (PDF format.)

Wise Values is a short essay by Alan Nordstrom in which he asks "What then are the wisest values and principles by which all human beings ought to govern their lives?" He answers with two principles.

The Truth Contest. Truth is one of wisdom's core values, and this fascinating website, created by a group of college students, explores the matter in depth via submissions by many people. The focus is on "life and death, the ultimate truth." All accepted submissions are available for reading, and the five judged "the most clear, complete and accurate explanation of the truth" appear on the home page.

Reflections on President Obama's University of Michigan Commencement Speech by historian Walter G. Moss is an article that examines certain wisdom-associated values advocated by the President in this speech and other communications with the public.

HOMO VALORENS is a short essay by Alan Nordstrom which makes the case that "Value is our definitive human quest. More aptly than Homo sapiens, we are Homo valorens—'man the valuemaker,' or 'man the evaluator'. . . ."

The Role of Values in Wisdom by Copthorne Macdonald. A discussion of values in the human decision-making process, and the sort of values required for wise decisions.

Lists of Wise Values. This is a compilation of several lists of values that their originators have considered superior in some sense, and likely to be operational in the lives of wise people.

Jason Merchey's "Values of the Wise". In his personal quest to understand wisdom, Jason Merchey has focused on the presence of certain "values of the wise" in the lives of wise people.

CHARACTER COUNTS! is a value-based approach to character education from the Josephson Institute based on a set of six basic values or "pillars of character": trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

The Virtues Project considers the human virtues to be the highest aspiration for humanityand has established a program to help children acquire them.