Grimm Wisdom

  • Paul O'Grady Trinity College Dublin, Department of Philosophy, University of Dublin
Keywords: wisdom; analytical epistemology; Stephen Grimm


Wisdom has not been widely discussed in analytical epistemology. An interesting recent analysis comes from Stephen Grimm who argues that wisdom requires knowledge and that the traditional dichotomy between theoretical and practical wisdom doesn’t hold. I note a tension between these aspects of his work. He wishes to maintain that traditional exemplars of wisdom (such as Jesus, Buddha, Confucius) may still be termed ‘wise’ by his theory. But his knowledge condition seems to require that only a subset of those who hold conflicting views are really wise. I consider a number of possible responses to this and endorse a non-indexical contextualist approach which will allow the knowledge condition and also allow the traditional exemplars to be termed ‘wise’.


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