Re: Intelligence and wisdom

From: James Higgins (
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 14:06:48 MDT

James Rogers wrote:
> I'll step up to the plate and state that wisdom and intelligence ARE
> equivalent, at least insofar as they represent the same underlying
> thing. If you eliminate the fluffy garbage associated with both
> definitions in their pedestrian sense, you end up with two words that
> really describe two different distributions and types of domain
> intelligence. It is just two different characteristic manifestations of
> the same underlying machinery. It is sort of like the old "book
> smart"/"street smart" dichotomy. Intelligence still manifests itself
> quite clearly even in the absence of formal education in some field, but
> it tends to look qualitatively different.

"book smart" and "street smart" have very different conotations and do
not refer to the same thing. A person who is "book smart" is likely to
be good at something (like science, writing, software development, etc)
but would likely get themselves killed if they were walking around the
wrong part of town. On the other hand, someone who is "street smart"
could probably conduct business in the wrong part of town but may not be
able to do any of the things the "book smart" individual would be
successful at.

Wisdom and Intelligence also have very different conotations. A very
intelligent person could do something that many would consider unwise
and land in jail or get killed.

Anyway, I really don't understand why people would think these are the
same thing. It is like saying night is the same as day, which in the
cosmic sense is true but here on earth they are very different things.

> BTW, having personally known a number of "Native American Indian Chiefs"
> in real life, I must say that their wisdom is mostly a mythological
> construct; the egregious lack of wisdom and judgment exhibited by most
> "Native Americans" should make this patently obvious. What is
> interpreted as "wisdom" is really just the New Age artsy sound of their
> languages when interpreted literally rather than semantically.

Just to clarify, I personally never mentioned anything about such
things. I think attributing wisdom to any one class of individual is a
fallacy. I'm also not mythological in my thinking. So, in my view,
Wisdom has nothing to do with such things.

James Higgins

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