Wisdom as Conceptual Understanding

Faith and Philosophy 27 (4):369-381 (2010)
Abstract
This article argues that Platonism provides a plausible account of wisdom, one that is especially attractive for Christians. Christian Platonism sees wisdom as conceptual understanding; it is a “knowledge of the Forms.” To be convincing this view requires us to see understanding as including an appreciation of the relations between concepts as well as the value of the possible ways of being that concepts disclose. If the Forms are Divine Ideas, then we can see why God is both supremely wise and the source of all human wisdom. The account of wisdom provided helps explain the relation between wisdom and knowledge, the connection between wisdom and emotion, and much about how wisdom is acquired. The view also helps explain why someone who lacks extensive propositional knowledge can still be wise, and it helps us see why an understanding of the Biblical narrative and participation in the life of the Church can be important aids in the development of wisdom
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